January 23rd, 2013

Crickets. Not chirping.

I don’t think this is actually child abuse. Of course, Brangelina would say it is merely the mark of having well-traveled and open-minded children:

According to E! News, the actress’ boys discovered their love for crickets on a recent trip to Cambodia, where she adopted her nine-year-old son Maddox.

“My boys love to eat crickets. It’s their favorite thing,” Jolie said. “They ate them like Doritos.”

“I had to actually ban the cricket eating at some point, because I was afraid they were gonna get sick from too many,” Jolie added. “But they’re good—they are like a potato chip.”

No doubt, they are exactly like a potato chip, only better.

Especially when made Cajun-style (and please note the alliteration—”crispy Cajun crickets”):

Tired of the same old snack food? Perk up your next party with Crispy Cajun Crickets. Roasted crickets are a tasty and unique addition to any social occasion, with a crunchy-tangy flavor all their own. To prepare, place 1 cup of healthy Cajun Crickets into a large, clean, and airy container (add a pinch of oatmeal for food). After 1 day, remove sick crickets and freeze the remainder. Wash frozen crickets in tap water, spread on cookie sheet, and roast in oven at lowest setting. When crickets become crunchy, sprinkle them with butter sauce and serve. Prepare butter sauce by adding salt, garlic, paprika, chili, or tabasco sauce to melted butter. — Mmmm – Good.

I guess almost anything is tasty if you put enough butter on it. As far as I can tell, the above recipe is not a joke. And yes, I know that insects can be an important food source in areas where there aren’t many ways to ingest protein. But I wouldn’t say the Western world is included in that category.

Also, I discovered that “Cajun crickets” is not actually a food preparation style but a type of cricket:

Cajun crickets are of course specially pampered house crickets, Acheta domesticus, the “cricket on the hearth” of English literature.

Of course.

(I don’t know whether to file this under “food” or not.)

[ADDENDUM: I just noticed, to my intense delight, that the recipe calls for "healthy Cajun Crickets." As opposed to what, diseased ones? Actually, I originally believed this to be an example of an error that is a particular pet peeve of mine, the ubiquitous substitution of the word "healthy" for the more correct "healthful." You can see what troubles it can cause. But now I see that the person is instructed to remove diseased crickets before completing the recipe. Yum.

So now I can add a "language and grammar" tag to the mix.]

34 Responses to “Crickets. Not chirping.”

  1. vanderleun Says:

    or not.

  2. parker Says:

    I refuse to buy anything other than free range, organic crispy crickets. Their protein is more digestible and they are lower in cholesterol than those ‘pampered’ house crickets raised in confinement in cruel little cages where the stress of overcrowding causes them to eat each other’s antennas.

  3. neo-neocon Says:

    parker: that certainly doesn’t sound very…cricket.

  4. parker Says:

    BHO needs to issue an EO banning the confinement feeding of crickets. Let the crickets live on the free range as Gaia intended.

  5. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    At some point in my reckless youth, I ate a chocolate-covered cricket on a dare. I have no idea where it came from or whether it was organic, healthy or diseased but I can say that 1) I survived the experience 2) it was, indeed, rather like a potato chip in that it was dry, light and crunchy (except for the chocolate) and 3) I don’t plan to do it again.

  6. LisaM Says:

    In a book set in Botswana, Africa, Alexander McCall Smith had a scene where the spring rains caused millions of locusts to leave their dormant state and fly into the air. The kids ate them “like popcorn.” It was something they looked forward to every year. I’m a picky eater when it comes to meat, but he almost made them sound good.

  7. vanderleun Says:

    Creepy people. Anything for attention.

  8. holmes Says:

    I never understood the rules of cricket actually. You hit the ball anywhere and there are hundreds of runs scored. Seems absurd. Sorry, what?

  9. thomass Says:

    at least with shrimp you pull out the digestive track first. Seems like it could be a bad idea but I don’t know… could be wrong.

  10. Jim Nicholas Says:

    Mrs Whatsit: I ate a chocolate-covered cricket on a dare.

    I have never had chocolate-covered crickets, but I have had chocolate-covered ants. I thought the acid taste of the ants and the sweet of the chocolate went well together.
    I have also had french-fried bumble bees–not bad, probably somewhat like the crickets as described.

  11. parker Says:

    “I never understood the rules of cricket actually. You hit the ball anywhere and there are hundreds of runs scored. Seems absurd. Sorry, what?”

    I’m a big fan of baseball, but I do understand cricket and enjoy watching matches. A team sport that can take several days to complete is actually an anodyne to our hectic 21st century. Once you understand the game cricket becomes a beautiful, pastoral game. It is popular in the former British West Indies. A cricket match in St. Lucia is a real treat. http://tinyurl.com/bjmk64p

  12. Darrell Says:

    Pretty common in Asia, you can buy them on the street, deep fried wasps seemed to be the most popular, I never tried any.

  13. rickl Says:

    No. Thanks.

    No, thanks.

  14. Artfldgr Says:

    And yes, I know that insects can be an important food source in areas where there aren’t many ways to ingest protein. But I wouldn’t say the Western world is included in that category.

    Really?
    given what the FDA allows in food and is acceptable (given that zero is not a realistic number), we eat insects and other bugs and such all the time and dont know it.

    Thrips are legally allowed in apple butter, canned or frozen asparagus, frozen broccoli, and frozen Brussels sprouts

    The FDA legally allows 2,500 aphids for every 10 grams of hops

    20 maggots are allowed for every 100 grams of drained mushrooms, compared with between 1 and 5 for every 500 grams of tomato products.

    35 fruit-fly eggs per 8 ounces of raisins

    [given the broadness of my memory i often giggle at all the silly things people commonly say, fear, act upon, and just get plain wrong as confirmed by confirming it by looking it up to be sure before presenting it again (if i have time)]

    but, lets check out things based on… on..
    now what is that word i am looking for?
    reality

    Spanish fly… while not popular all over the west, its been known for a long time. its made from a beetle from the blister beetle family. the irritant we get out of it is Cantharidin.

    Mezcal anyone? not to be confused with Mescaline, this is a drink of the agave plant. in every bottle they drop a live worm, and people think it good luck to be the one who gets to drink it.

    Of course the most common ARTHROPODS we eat are lobsters, and crabs and so on… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthropod note that they did not put lobster up there, but centipedes, butterflies, and more…

    now before you say that this is different, it isnt. out of all the ickies common people refer to as bugs beetles etc… are all different branches of the arthropod line. people put things in the wrong categories all the time (including the guys that make the categories).

    Hemiptera are true bugs… Arthropoda / Insecta / Neoptera
    Insects are Arthropoda / Hexapoda / Insecta
    Spider Arthropoda / Chelicerata / Arachnida
    Centipedes Arthropoda / Myriapoda / Chilopoda
    Lobsters are Arthropoda / Crustacea / Malacostraca

    funny funny, but if you knew the details of how honey is made you might not like it. however, the process adds antibiotics to the mix.

    if only people knew… :)

  15. Sam L. Says:

    More ‘meat’ on a grasshopper, and the legs make good toothpicks.

  16. rickl Says:

    You best might want to watch out for those crickets:

    http://giantspiders.com/article12.html

    Yes, the link is to a site called giantspiders.com. Consider yourself forewarned.

  17. waltj Says:

    Insect eating is very common in the non-Muslim parts of Southeast Asia (insects are not halal, except for the locust). I used to walk past an open-air market every day when I was working in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and on offer were several varieties of cricket, grasshopper, and large beetles of some type that were part of the local cuisine. (I never saw the wasps Darrell mentioned, but I didn’t look that hard). This happens to be one of the few areas where I find common ground with Muslims: unless I’m in a survival situation, bugs are off my menu.

  18. Darrell Says:

    Walt, I forgot the grasshoppers, the wasps were in Thailand, treated like candy….

  19. model_1066 Says:

    I only eat gluten free crickets.

  20. Jim Kearney Says:

    In Thailand and Cambodia, I’ve eaten them along with grasshoppers, slugs of some sort, and very big roasted spiders. The cricket/beetle types are actually pretty good. It’s kind of stir fried in an oily sauce and taste nutty. The spider, not so much. More crunch and dry. But hey, our dear leader eats dog which is much worse than a ride on a station wagon roof. I’d NEVER eat our four legged canine / feline brothers.

  21. RandomThoughts Says:

    Jim Kearney, you speciesist. Prepared properly, dog tastes a lot like chicken. (yes, I’m being sarcastic).

    In all seriousness, it’s so absurd the way we westerners turn what is clearly an attempt to avoid starvation–societies that have learned to eat literally anything available just to stay alive–into some kind of cool cultural experience. Ridiculous.

  22. expat Says:

    Are cricket medical exams covered by Obamacare? You could say they are family members under 26.

  23. Jim Nicholas Says:

    Random Thoughts,

    When I was in Hawaii in the late 1950s, there were many feral dogs in the cane and pineapple fields. The Filipino restaurants served dog meat as “Kalua pork”. It was not to avoid starvation and I do not know if it was legal, but it contributed to pest control. I did not sample it, and so I cannot say what it tastes like.

  24. Rich Says:

    I don’t remember which old movie it’s from, but there’s a scene in which an actress – I think it was Rosalind Russell – is reading the directions from a box of pancake mix :

    quote : “tastes delicious with butter and maple syrup.”

    comment : “what doesn’t ?”

  25. Jim Kearney Says:

    Yea, Random Thoughts, I’m a spiciest. I just can’t eat my friends, especially since I can go down the store and get some chicken in a package. And I don’t judge those societies that do eat dog and cat because they’re hungry. If I was in the middle of the siege of Stalingrad, I’d adapt my philosophy to fit the situation. Being morally superior is easy on a full stomach. There is much less dog eating in Vietnam, Cambodia and South Korea these days btw. Those poor souls in N Korea…….I doubt there is a dog alive in that ring of Hell.

  26. thomass Says:

    “now before you say that this is different, it isnt. out of all the ickies common people refer to as bugs beetles etc…”

    Heh; funny. I don’t eat lobster or crabs.. lobster because I tell people its just a sea cockroach.

  27. model_1066 Says:

    thomass Says:
    January 24th, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    “now before you say that this is different, it isnt. out of all the ickies common people refer to as bugs beetles etc…”

    Heh; funny. I don’t eat lobster or crabs.. lobster because I tell people its just a sea cockroach.

    And shrimp or crawdads are ‘mudbugs’, also not to be eaten. I first had crawdads down in Houston, boiled in a sauce that seemed like watered down Tobasco, and although tasty, they were to me like ribs: lots of work and mess, little to be had in return.

  28. model_1066 Says:

    Jim Kearney Says:
    January 24th, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Jim, I won’t consider a feral specimen of cat or dog to be my friend, and would gladly apply the twelve gauge accordingly.

  29. RandomThoughts Says:

    Those poor souls in N Korea…….I doubt there is a dog alive in that ring of Hell. Exactly my point.

    When food is abundant, people aren’t reduced to eating insects. That they become used to eating insects and continue to eat them even in times of relative abundance is one thing. That other people who have never experienced anything remotely near starvation perceive the insect eating as nothing more than a nifty cultural experience is another thing entirely.

    Ah well, the French have managed to convince the world that escargot is a fine dining experience too. I’m pretty sure the first folks who decided to eat snails didn’t choose them over a side of beef, but we’ve long forgotten that kind of extremity.

  30. waltj Says:

    …I don’t eat lobster or crabs.. lobster because I tell people its just a sea cockroach.

    My nephew says the same thing, and he doesn’t eat seafood at all. He just doesn’t like it. I tell him great, more for me.

    Speaking of dog, it’s still possible to find “rintek wuuk” or “RW” (dog meat) served in Indonesia, particularly in restaurants owned by Bataks (from north Sumatra) or Minhasa (from around Manado in north Sulawesi). Both groups are heavily Christian, so Muslim dietary restrictions don’t apply to them. You can also find it in mostly-Hindu Bali. RW is usually not on the menu. If you want it, you have to ask, and since I was never curious enough to do so, I don’t know how it tastes.

  31. jon baker Says:

    I read in a suposed re-print of a US Army survival manual that between crickets and grasshoppers, choose grasshoppers (after removing legs) as crickets could carry liver flukes. I think this was when forced to choose between the raw forms of either. I have seen crickets eating their own dead, so I have come to think of them as just cute roaches.

  32. cld1 Says:

    I’m 9 years old and I’d try crickets if I could!

  33. Lara J. Says:

    @cld1

    Yeah, mmm… Doritos! I’d try it, but it’s kinda weird. All people eat bugs daily. In apples, too.

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