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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Chocolate Critters

Ever heard of people making chocolate ants for treats? How about chocolate meal worms? Crickets? Grossed out yet? Just tonight after we'd all finished eating our dinner, the subject of chocolate ants came up. Mom then decided to look it up and found some pretty gruesome stuff about it on the internet. Here's a picture of packaged chocolate crickets and meal worms. Yuck!

If you're interested, these can be purchased at InsectCandy.com for only $4.50! What a deal! Kidding.

Below I'm going to list some pretty buggy recipes, so if your totally grossed out already, you might want to stop reading.

Mealworm Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup mealworm flour

Cream butter well, then mix in sugar, egg, vanilla flour, salt, baking soda, chocolate chips, oats, and mealworm flour. Drop batter by the teaspoonful on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees farenheit. This recipe doesn't have much in the way of palpable insect content, but is an excellent way to introduce others (or yourself!) to entomophagy. Even many rather squeamish people will try mealworm cookies, since the cookie format doesn't look "gross" to most people, and since it is rather difficult to actually taste the mealworms, though they enrich the cookie with a somewhat nutty flavor and extra protein.

To make insect flour:

Spread your cleaned insects out on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Set your oven 200 degrees and dry insects for approximately 1-3 hours. When the insects are done, they should be fairly brittle and crush easily. Take your dried insects and put them into a blender or coffee grinder, and grind them till they are about consistency of wheat germ. Use in practically any recipe! Try sprinkling insect flour on salads, add it to soups, your favorite bread recipe, on a boat, with a goat, etc.

Chocolate Covered Crickets

  • 25 adult crickets
  • Several squares of semisweet chocolate

Prepare the crickets as described above. Bake at 250 degrees until crunchy (the time needed varies from oven to oven). Heat the squares of semi sweet chocolate in a double boiler until melted. Dip the dry roasted crickets in the melted chocolate one by one, and then set the chocolate covered crickets out to dry on a piece of wax paper. Enjoy! This is a little time consuming to make, but definitely worth it...the crickets are deliciously crunchy!

Ant Brood Tacos

  • 2 tablespoons butter or peanut oil
  • ?
  • 1/2 pound ant larvae and pupae
  • 3 serrano chilies, raw, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Cumin, to taste
  • Oregano, to taste
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
  • Taco shells, to serve

Heat the butter or oil in a frying pan and fry the larvae or pupae. Add the chopped onions, chilies, and tomato, and season with salt. Sprinkle with ground pepper, cumin, and oregano, to taste. Serve in tacos and garnish with cilantro. (Not living in an area exceptionally prolific with ants, I have never been able to try this recipe. But it sounds perfectly delicious! I found it in 'Creepy Crawly Cuisine', an excellent recipe book.)

"Natural Style"

  • As many mealworms as you can sanely eat

Open mouth. Insert live mealworms. Chew. Swallow.

You can eat almost every kind of edible insect raw; however, this method of eating insects should only be performed on insects that you keep yourself or know are free from pesticides. Do not snag passing cockroaches, ants, or termites in an urban area unless you have developed a natural immunity to pesticides. And don't forget to wash your insects before eating them!

What do you think? You ready to crunch down on some chocolate cockroaches, mealworms, or crickets? How 'bout an ant larvae taco? I know I'm not! And I'm definitely not trying the "natural style." How gross!


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