Bugs Come In A Variety Of Flavors

Insect eating in the U.S. has typically been reserved for challenges on reality shows such as "Survivor" and "Fear Factor." However, the icky feeling Americans have toward eating bugs isn't shared with much of the world. And with an eye toward sustainability, even Americans may soon be changing their tune, since bugs require nearly 1000 times less water to produce than a pound of beef and release fewer greenhouse gases. Plus, with more than 1,400 of the 900,000 known species of insect being safe to eat, there must be a variety that meets your fancy.

Bugs are largely "taste-malleable," which means that their taste depends on their diet. Insects come from a variety of environments and eat a wide range of plants—after all, they comprise the majority of the animal biomass on Earth. That makes the potential for flavor endless.

For example, small crickets taste like nutty shrimp whereas bigger ones taste like nutty chicken. Grasshoppers have a peanut or chicken flavor, and stink bugs are said to taste like apples. Arachnids taste like light, earthy crustaceans—some even argue that arachnids are tastier than crustaceans because lobsters and crabs are bottom feeders, whereas arachnids catch their prey live. Larvae are also tasty: wax moth caterpillars share flavors with enoki mushrooms an pine nuts, and bee larvae taste like chanterelle mushrooms and bacon. Some others, though, "defy description," says Daniella Martin in The Huffington Post. One such bug is the giant water beetle, which she says tastes like "melon soaked in banana-rose brine, with the consistency of red snapper."

It will probably be a while before Americans embrace bugs in their diet, but the next time you have the opportunity, don't pass up a bug-based feast. You never know what flavors you'll miss. Find out how to cook them for yourself in the videos below.

How To Cook Bugs

Learn how to make an insect-cooking chef's favorite dish, scorpion scaloppine.

Which Bugs Are Safe To Eat?

Find out which North American bugs would make the safest—and tastiest—snacks.

10 Reasons To Add Bugs To Your Diet

They're better for the environment, for one thing.

Written by Curiosity Staff November 4, 2016

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