Gross! That may be your first thought, but the desert is home to many edible bugs, insects and critters!
A lot of these insects pack a lot of protein if you are able to get past the nasty factor. Here are a few insects found in the desert you can eat if you dare!
These two are eaten all over the world! Crickets like dark and damp places, so that's a good place to look if you are on the hunt. Backbacker.com suggests pulling the heads off them before cooking them, but not everyone does. You can boil or fry them. Both are high in protein and don't taste that bad. I've tried both!
These pesky guys can hurt if they bite you, but they also are eaten in many countries like Columbia. In Columbia they are called hormigas culonas, roughly translated into “big-butt ants." In that country, they are fried and salted. I've never tried these, but people who have tried them say they are similar to crunchy peanuts.
There is an abundance of these insects in Arizona and the Valley. You've probably had them in your house, but you can also find them in the desert. To prepare termites, wash them and then add salt. These, too, are best fried. Fry them until they are brown. After they are brown, pull off the wings.
Then bon appétit!
Just the name alone make you want to avoid these, but did you know stinkbugs are edible? In parts of Mexico, these are considered a delicacy. Most people there eat them while they are alive, noting there cinnamon-like taste at the end. It's probably a good idea to wash these before eating them to get rid of their defensive stench.
And now for one of the most annoying things we deal with in the Valley of the sun, scorpions! You may think this is a bad idea, but if you remove the stinger and cook the rest, you are good to go! In fact, last year we introduced you to an Arizona family that does just that. The Mauls said they prefer to dip the scorpions in a bit of batter and fry them up. Enjoy!
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