Eating Insects: Here’s What I Learned
When it comes to food, we all have our usual preferences, don’t we? What may seem unusual to me could be entirely normal for others. Let me share my personal story: I vividly remember the time I discovered a rotten apple with a worm inside; my immediate reaction was to throw it out without a second thought. Similarly, I recall my initial astonishment and unease when I first witnessed people in my home country, Indonesia, consuming grasshoppers as a snack. Yes, you read that correctly — grasshoppers! In certain cities in Indonesia, they are considered a delicacy.
However, as they say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” This principle became clear to me during my journey to Mexico. Mexico, a country rich in culture, holds a unique culinary tradition: the consumption of insects. Not just grasshoppers, known as chapulines, but even scorpions and tarantulas find their way onto plates as crispy snacks. Creatures that we typically know as dangerous are transformed into safe and delectable treats in Mexican cuisine.
As the old saying goes, “Visit the local market to truly understand a nation’s culture. It was among the hustling vendors that I learned about the important role of bug eating in Mexican culture. Speaking to a seller, this behavior is deeply rooted in their traditions. So I decided to challenge my taste buds, stepping beyond my culinary comfort zone to explore this unique aspect of Mexican culture.
Aside from learning about both the cultural and historical significance of eating insects, this experience taught me an important lesson about being open-minded. You know, it made me think about not judging. After all, how can we genuinely judge anything if we haven’t given it a shot? We’ll never know if it’s actually good or not or it could end up being our new favorite thing.
Take, for instance, the beetle known as Escarabajo la Tierra. Little did I know that its natural flavor is similar to that of a nut. It was not only delicious, but it was also high in protein. Even the idea of eating scorpions, which typically comes with danger, took an enjoyable turn. I realize we won’t love every dish, but how will we know until we taste it firsthand?