Oh, yes. This happened. And it only took me until my final week in Thailand to do it!
Whilst waltzing around our last Friday night market with Matt and a couple of friends, we passed a stall with a few large silver bowls piled high with different insects. We had walked past this stall numerous times and even casually talked about how we had to try some before we left Thailand. But, instead of continuing to walk on through the hustle and bustle of the crowd as I usually did, I stopped. I asked everyone if we should have some bugs today, since today’s our last chance to do so right here in this market, in this country, together.
And with that, we finally all agreed to try much on some bugs!
I approached the stall, returning an ear-to-ear smile to the woman behind it. I noticed they had larva, crickets, grasshoppers, and a couple of other options of which I don’t know the names or even 100% remember what they looked like!
While admiring the bugs, we all laughed at the grasshoppers’ size (for the record, they’re huge when you’re debating on eating them), which meant we collectively turned that down. Next, I concluded that the larva was not happening because they didn’t look too appetizing (obviously) and I honestly had a feeling they would have a mealy texture, which I’m not into. They all agreed.
Only the crickets remained. I asked everyone if they were alright with eating crickets, since they were pretty small and bite-sized at least (unlike the grasshoppers), and everyone felt that the crickets were the best option on the table, too.
So, I turned to the happy-go-lucky woman behind the stall and said “see,” which in Thai means “four.” She took a large spoon, scooped up far more than just four crickets, and tossed them into a wok filled with oil behind her along with a few Thai basil leaves. After they sizzled and spit in there for a couple of minutes, the woman scooped them out and put them into a plastic cup and handed them to me.
After paying her, we all gathered around the cup in my hand and each took our first-ever cricket in hand. We crunched away at the fried crickets and all came to pretty much the same conclusion: they were alright. You know, just bugs.
However, I think I was the only one that actually enjoyed them. At least a little bit. They were crunchy, greasy, and a bit meaty. What else could you ask for from an insect? The only downfall of eating the crickets: the legs. They tended to get stuck between my teeth, which wasn’t particularly enjoyable.
My excitement for trying crickets; Matt and Paul are in the background, clearly not as enthralled as me
So, I ended up eating a couple of more, got tired of picking my teeth, asked if anyone else wanted more (and I received a solid “no” in reply from all three of them), and tossed the filled cup in the trash (in retrospect, I probably should’ve given them to one of the numerous homeless people there rather than having just tossed them. It was a full cup of good, fresh, fried crickets after all!). And with that, our experiment with insect tasting was over.
Have you ever eaten crickets or any other insects before? How did you like it?