Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Scorpions Taste Kinda Fishy


Eating a scorpion

NEW YORK -- Crickets do not taste like chicken.

But sauté them with a little olive oil and some spices and they are surprisingly edible, with a nice crunch and a subtle nut flavor. Their little legs do tend to get stuck between your teeth, though.

The nutty goodness of crispy crickets aside, few of the attendees at Adventures in the Global Kitchen, the first in a series of planned programs on global cuisine held at Manhattan's American Museum of Natural History, seemed fully converted to the joys of eating insects, despite the array of tempting tidbits featuring bugs that were set out for tasting.

"Eating bugs is disgusting," said 11-year-old Bill Eggers, who attended the event. "It's OK to do it on a dare, but otherwise I don't want to eat any bugs."

Happily, for the squeamish, the insects weren't the main course. For the most part they were used as garnishes, tastefully tucked into trail mix and tamales and plopped on top of pizzas.

Most didn't have much of a taste -- deep-fried grubs are all crunch and no flavor, though they do literally melt in your mouth. Ants have a lemony snap, though some are sour and vinegary. But tarantulas are surprisingly tasty, rather similar to crab meat. Then again, spiders aren't insects -- and neither are the bitter and vaguely fishy-tasting scorpions that topped the sushi rolls.

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