So, there you are, scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, talking shit about the dumb-ass people posting photos and topics that are, well, barely appropriate for Jerry Springer. What a dumb bitch! Oh look at him, he gained 50 pounds. Fat asssss! Holy shit, is she really wearing that? God she didn’t age well, ooh, nasty!
And then … you find me. You stop scrolling, look to see who posted it, and say to yourself, WTF, Sloate? What are you doing to me? There’s no way this story is about food. This photo is of snacks for your pet snake, right? Yes? No? Maybe? Nope! You’re looking at a snack I threw together last night. Jiminy Cricket was in the house and I’m throwing out all my Lays, Doritos, and (God help me) Corn Nuts.
I get it, I get it. You’re looking at me like Renfield from Dracula: a guy with a thirst for insects and blood. Yes master, yes! Crickets! Crickets good! I felt the same way the first time I let an insect pass my lips, but once I did, my reaction was, holy shit, this shit ain’t so bad. It takes some guts to get over the hurdle, but once you do, you’ll be as giddy as Jared from Subway visiting a Catholic orphanage.
I wanted to see if I could recreate a street-food snack that millions of people eat all over Southeast Asia and Mexico. I didn’t just try to recreate it, though, I decided to have a bug cook-off. Which style of cricket cooking technique do I like? Ready to stop reading? No, stay with me. That’s right, BUG COOK-OFF! Shits getting weird, and you’re front row, center!
In the corner to my left (photo above) I ordered cooked dehydrated crickets, direct from Thailand (Order them here). They didn’t look happy. They were flat, they lacked form, and they didn’t quite create the shock factor I wanted. Shit, stale gummy bears have more form than these little guys. On my right, (below) I ordered live crickets and popped them in the freezer so they could go peacefully to bug heaven. (Order them here)
As I reflect on the passing of these little guys, I want to hip you to a little-known-but-straightforward fact: We could wipe out world hunger if more people/cultures would look at insects as a protein source. I know most people—most people I know—would and so react with disgust, but it’s a fact. Plus, insects are actually tasty—as salad toppers, taco toppers, or just eating them straight. I know what you’re thinking: Uh-oh, Sloate is going activist on us, and a motherfucking crazy one at that. But, um, no. I’m not saving whales. Shit, I’m the furthest fucking thing from an activist, unless you’re talking about making procreation illegal for people who wear Crocs, but that’s another story.
Anyway, I seasoned my precooked Crickets with soy, Fleur De Sel (high-end French salt; I know, so fucking sue me), and lime juice. My recently deceased (fresh) crickets were dropped into Canola oil at 350 degrees and cooked to a delicate crisp. They were then seasoned with more soy/Fleur/lime juice mixture. The winner: I know you can’t wait to hear, and I’m sure you simply just don’t give a fuck, but yes, the crunchiness of my homemade deep-fried “cricket apocalypse” was the winner! Woo-hoo! We’re number one!! Seems deep-fried, crunchy little insects taste even better with good seasoning. Just trust me on this one. Or come by my house this winter. The line may be long, but it’ll be worth it!
You can find happiness in the weird, unaccepted, and taboo end of the food spectrum. And it’s a new way to look at our world and surroundings. In the end, the more you try, the more you know, and here’s what I know: Crickets taste better than Subway sandwiches. True that!
If you enjoyed that story check out this one about salted fish – Pla Pao .