It’s late in the summer and insects are out in full force, we’re running field trials for our mosquito traps across the US, and yet the office has been abuzz with two topics that seem about as far from arthropods as you can get. Can our local baseball team, the Seattle Mariners, make the playoffs? Did you see Game of Thrones?
Surprisingly, these two very different things have one thing in common, and it’s insect-related. Any guesses? It’s not dragons, dragonflies, or fly balls...it’s entomophagy. As Merriam-Webster defines it,
noun | en·to·moph·a·gy | /,en-tə-’mä-fə-jē/ | The practice of eating insects.So, who (or what) was eating bugs, and when?
Orthopterans like this katydid (Scudderia furcata) are eaten in many cultures. The order Orthoptera also includes grasshoppers, crickets, and locusts.
First, the real-life entomophagy. Salted chili lime chapulines (grasshoppers), a traditional Mexican snack, have been selling out at the Seattle Mariners’ stadium all year. They’ve been so popular supplies were running out – now only 312 orders are sold per game.
And, the fiction (WARNING-BOOK SPOILERS AHEAD). While Daenerys Targaryen ruled in Meereen, an unknown assailant poisoned a bowl of honeyed locusts (END SPOILERS). Sadly, because the plot didn’t involve the dragons, it was omitted from the television show, but the writers of the official GoT cookbook created a recipe for honey-spiced locusts.
I haven’t eaten the chapulines or tried to cook the recipe yet, but I snacked on roasted mealworms at the Entomological Society of America conference in 2015, and a whole array of insect foods at the Audubon Insectarium in New Orleans (my favorite: chocolate “chirp” cookies).
Have you ever eaten any bugs? Let us know in the comments!
- Written By Alyssa Branca
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