|The ants are very large. These are fried or roasted. These are often servedin paper cones at movies. They have a smoky taste, a bit like very good jerky. Nice and crunchy.|
|In Oz now it is considered patriotic to eat Witchety Grub, a plump insect which has become the symbol of Aboriginal cuisine. It is served in fancy restaurants, but I don’t think many Oz have actually screwed up the courage to sample it. On the subject of witchety grubs, I had been to Ayres Rock on my first trip to Australia (my Mum is a former Aussie… we were visiting family mostly,) and the tour guide was honest enough to tell us WHAT the grubs were and something about their background before trying to talk us into trying it. About 10 years later, I went back to catch up on the family and discovered (in a newspaper ad) that there is a resort near Ayres Rock now… and on their list of exotic resort fare are WITCHETY GRUBS! This went from a weird oddity only eaten by Aborigines and desperate bushmen to resort food in only ten years!|
The little worm, the gusano, that lives on the agave plant gets stuck in the bottle. Mmmm. There is even a special brand sold in 2-ounce bottles called “Dos Gusanos”, two worms for those who can’t get enough.
Locally, which is to say in North America, a not too uncommon confection is the tequila sucker–a tequila flavored lollipop, complete with worm. The first two ingredients are listed as “High fructose corn syrup, insect larva…”. My question is this: if an insect larva can pass the Food and Drug Administration as an explicitly listed ingredient, what the hell’s in the stuff that the FDA rejects?
|Arroz de Cabidela (Chicken with rice in blood). Traditional Portuguese Dish. For 6 people: 1 Chicken or Duck; ½ a cup of vinegar; 2 onions; 500g of rice; 5 soup spoons of olive oil; 1 Garlic tooth; 1 Branch of Parsley; Salt and Pepper. When you kill the bird, collect all of the blood in a container, where you already have the vinegar. Stir this mixture well. Cut the chosen bird in parts, and stew it with the oil, the diced onion, the garlic and the parsley. When necessary, add water, salt and pepper and continue to stew on a very low flame with the lid on the pot. When the meat is tender, add enough water to create a broth to boil the rice. The quantity of the water depends on the consistency that is wished for the Cabidela. To obtain a wet Cabidela, you should add at least three parts water to one part rice. When the mixture has boiled, add the rice, already washed and dried and let it cook. Finally you add the chicken (or Ducks) blood, as soon as it starts to boil you take it off the cooker and serve.|
|Made from the nest of a particular kind of cave/cliff swallow. The swallow secretes a substance from a gland (similar to a salivary gland) as an adhesive to bind twigs and leaves and such together to make the nest. A good way to gross out people is to tell them what bird’s nest soup is made from. Did that to my ex-sister in law, while we were having some. She was going, “Hm, this isn’t bad, ” so I filled her in. She immediately dropped her spoon and refused to touch it afterwards.|
|How about that great delicacy of the Philippines… Baalut. You take a fertilized duck or chicken egg, bury it in the ground for a few weeks and then enjoy. Also known as “the treat with feet” or “the egg with legs”. Best enjoyed after many, many, many beers. This is a Filipino delicacy–a duck egg containing a half-formed duckling, soft-boiled and eaten out of shell with a spoon. (Slurp! Crunch-crunch! Yum!)|