As one of the leading attractive destinations in Southeast Asia, the attraction of Thailand is not only beautiful scenery, delicious food, and friendly people, but it also especially attracts foodies who love to eat. take risks for unique and strange dishes.

Coming to Thailand, eating insects: Should try!

Joseph Sherwood, owner of the blog A Little Bit Human, describes Thailand as a place that takes challenges for adventurous foodies to the next level:  “If you think you can stand the smell of durian, Then be prepared for bigger surprises. Thailand has a lot more exotic dishes than that smelly fruit.”

Among the “specialties” of Thailand that always appear on the “strange dishes” list of foreign bloggers, we can easily see the common point: These are insects that many people can only see. I shudder just thinking about it.

But what do insects taste like, that Thais sell them so much on the street? Mr. Mark Wiens, owner of the blog Migrationology, experienced these “strange” dishes and called them  “natural snacks to replace chips and industrial snacks”.

According to Mr. Mark, Thailand is a place  “snack is not only to satisfy cravings, but also an entertaining way of life”.

In Thailand, the popular way to cook insects is deep-frying in oil until they are crispy and salted to have a snack that is both delicious and rich in protein.

Normally, a fried insect cart has about 5-10 types. Mr. Mark bought a large bag, priced at 100 baht (about 65,000 VND at the current exchange rate) of various insects to try, and must admit that this bag of “snack food” is too much for him and his family. partner.

After filling a bag of 100 baht, the vendor sprinkles a little pepper and a few drops of soy sauce to enhance the flavor of the dish, even though these insects have all been fried golden and seasoned with salt.

Mark’s advice for first-timers: “Though these insects are a bit scary, keep in mind that they are safe and harmless once cooked! ”

In the “snack” bag for 100 baht, the fried grasshopper is one of the insects that surprised and impressed Mark the most. “Forget about potato chips, these grasshoppers are much more crispy, feeling like deep-fried pork skin but crispy, lighter.

I still have a bit of an insect taste, but mostly salt and pepper. Biting the grasshopper feels like biting a Cheetos snack,” he wrote.

The giant water beetle also gave Mark a pleasant experience. He describes: “The giant water beetle has a very distinctive flavor reminiscent of black licorice or anise. Its body is a bit succulent, and I find it to taste a bit like scrambled eggs, while the head is flavorful. a bit like pickled crab”.

Like Vietnam, Thai people also eat silkworms and silkworm pupae. Mark felt that they looked like small pieces of gnocchi (Italian potato pasta), but the taste was almost peanut-like, and because they were salted, they were also salty.

Fried bamboo worms are also very popular with Thai people. Mark describes them like Cheetos snack sticks without cheese powder, eaten in”quite like popcorn, both in taste and texture”.

The last dish on Mark’s list is crickets, the “most bug-flavored” dish in a 10 baht snack bag and his feeling is that they are a bit dry.

In addition to the dishes that Mr. Mark has experienced, Thailand also has many other strange dishes such as red ants, scorpions… but they are not as popular on the street as the insects mentioned above.

For blog site owner Karolinapatryk, deep-fried skewered scorpions look “pretty scary”, but taste “surprisingly delicious”.

“If you wonder what scorpions taste like, it’s quite similar to potato snacks, but much healthier because scorpions are 50% protein!”, according to blog post Karolinapatryk.

From the street to the luxury restaurant

For Insects in the Backyard restaurant in Thailand, from endless passion and creativity, insects have been raised to new heights on the plate of food.

A giant water beetle with outstretched wings “perches” on pasta – it sounds elegant, but it is a challenge for first-time diners, according to Channel News Asia.

Chef Surasit Buttama – aka “Chef Gong” of the restaurant believes that his restaurant is taking a solid step forward in the search for an alternative protein that has the potential to shake the industry. restaurant industry in Thailand and beyond in the future.

“We try to make insects into food for people to experience, eat and taste, to help open their minds to prepare for the future,” said Chef Gong.

All insects used in the restaurant are farmed or caught in Northern and Eastern Thailand, helping local people and businesses grow sustainably.

Chef Gong said that in addition to the joy he gets from experimenting and creating, he also looks forward to helping solve current food supply problems.

“We see that in the future, the world’s population will grow and there won’t be enough protein sources for everyone. We’ll use more water, more electricity, and more people. Because So, we looked for alternative protein sources, and found insects,” said Chef Gong.

The future of the food industry

Insects are now likened to the  “food of the future” of mankind, and Thailand is one of the leading countries in this food.

With the world’s population set to grow to 9 billion by 2050 and worrying emissions from the livestock industry, experts say human diets must change to ensure a sustainable future. stable, according to Al Jazeera.

Arnold van Huis, emeritus professor of tropical entomology at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, says insects are eight times better than beef for our planet.

As someone who has spent most of his career researching the use of insects in the food industry, Mr. Van Huis emphasized:  “I think eating insects will be safer than chicken or pork, beef. Animals can be even more dangerous to humans than anything in insects.”

According to Mr. Van Huis, to produce 1kg of beef requires about 25kg (55lbs) of feed, while 1kg of protein-rich crickets only need 2kg (4.4lbs) of feed. Insects are cold-blooded, they do not expend energy to generate body heat like cows. Meanwhile, raising livestock also requires about 6 times more water than insects need.

“About 80% of the world’s agricultural land is already used for livestock. We need to change,” the expert said.

However, changing consumer habits and perceptions is not easy. And restaurants like Insects in the Backyard, or carts selling deep-fried insects on the streets of Thailand, are helping.

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