One food I've never tried before is insects. It seems like in the rest of the world, they are delicacies.
I'm just wondering, are there any good places to buy prepared insects around Seattle, or any websites anyone can recommend?
You can go to your local bait shop for crickets, but they are a little bit more difficult to prepare for the newbie entomophage.
Mealworms are available from pet stores and Wild Birds Unlimited, and are much easier to handle and keep alive. When you're ready to eat them, just rinse them off and dry them with a towel, and stick them in the freezer for 10 minutes to stun them, and then boil them for a minute to kill them. I've also eaten them still alive, but it's kind of an acquired taste and more of something you do on a dare.
They taste pretty nutty and earthy, so you can pan-fry them in a little butter or coconut oil and then adding spices. Also nice roasted and seasoned like you would almonds.
I would start off in the China Town/International district of Seattle. When I lived in China, it was possible to eat all kinds of grubs and insects and they turned up in the most unusual places; there is some kind of insect paste that is quite popular inside dim sum, but I do not know what it is called. Best bet would be to ask around in restaurants and be prepared to hunt around for a while before you find what you want - you'll find it by word of mouth rather than by anything labelled and out on display. Other Asian cuisine such as Malaysian or Indonesian may provide fruitful.
BTW--it appears that the Seattle Public Library has this book which has some recipes, flavor descriptions and resource suggestions. I've never read it, but it looks like it could be a nice book to flip through to get some preparation ideas once you get the buggies. I wish my library had it.
Poquitos on Capitol Hill serves "chapulines," or toasted grasshoppers in chili-lime salt. They serve them in a tiny cup for under $2, and they aren't too bad. Eating them was my first time (knowingly) eating insects of any kind, so I don't have anything to compare them to, but the flavor didn't make me want to go back to the restaurant just for them (I love their other food and how they source it). I wonder if there are some other recipes that would compliment their flavor better, and I definitely want to make my own someday.
The chapulines are listed on either the lunch or dinner menu under "sides:" http://www.vivapoquitos.com/Poquitos/Menu.html
When I was in school there was a fad to eat bugs and various types were available- chocolate covered ants and deep-fried grasshoppers for example. I remember trying a deep-fried grasshopper donated by an elementary school teacher and discovering it wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be.
Here in Mexico we came across a stand with deep-fried bugs last winter and took some home to gross out our grandchildren, but not before trying one again myself. I also watched a TV cooking show that showed a Mexican dish with bugs (paper wasps?) used as the base of a sauce.
They are a good protein source as this website points out http://www.food-insects.com/Insects%20as%20Human%20Food.htm
Unfortunately I think they may be hard to source since they are not widely accepted in the US or Canada as food.
Here is a TED talk that will interest everyone on this subject
land bugs arent a good source of omega 3, unless they are grasshoppers
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