Bugging Out: A Dozen Delectable Insect Dishes From Around the World


In a food culture that constantly seeks out the rare and arcane, insects constitute the final frontier. Though you can readily find pig ears, fiddleheads, sea urchins, foie gras, and truffles on menus all over town, season permitting, where would you go to find bugs?

Every year, it seems, there's a feature in the Times about one learned society or another mounting a feast based on insects, served in the drafty halls of museums and academies, and attended by zoologists and thrill seekers. But when will we see bugs burrowing out of normal restaurants menus? After all, they're a dependable source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, and easily fit into the sustainable category due to their extreme numbers and indefatigable dispositions. What's more, at least some of them are reputed to taste good, or at least provide a dependable crunch.

Sure, you can find the occasional bag of grasshoppers to sprinkle on your taco at local bodegas, and there's a Japanese restaurant or two in town that serves crickets seasonally, but these are only the earliest stirrings. Bugs are the food of the future, and, to get the ball rolling, we've researched the greatest and best-tasting bug recipes from the last few millennia, and we provide the top 12 below. For the time being, you'll have to make these dishes yourself, but chefs take note: Insects are bound to be in our culinary future.

Lillian Chou
In China, such insects as beetles and scorpions are skewered and sold as snacks.

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