Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cuisine a la' extreme: Bug-a-licious by Meish Goldish

Of course, not everyone eats insects. The idea makes some people sick. One eater's "yuck!" is another eater's "yum!"

Lick a cricket? Somebody must. Cricket Lick-Its are lollipops with once-live crickets encased in various sweet fruit-flavored lollies, marketed, along with chocolate-covered ants (where else?) in California. If your taste runs to the savory rather than the sweet, just zoom over the border into Mexico, where you can buy bags of fried grasshoppers or fold them into your 'hopper and avocado tacos, spiced up with lemon juice, garlic, and salt. While you're south of the border, try out their leaf-footed bug pizzas, too. After all, insects are said to be a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals--and low-fat to boot, making leaf-hopper pizza healthier than pepperoni!

Meish Goldish's Bug-a-licious (Extreme Cuisine)(Bearport Publishing, 2009) explores the world of insect snacks--from stink-bug pate' in South Africa to wasp-rich crackers in Japan and from honey ants in Australia to roasted termites in Nigeria. After all, insects are always trying to bite us. Why not show them that we sometimes bite back?

If your taste doesn't run to Thailand's three-inch batter-fried water bugs in plum sauce, there are plenty of other delicacies in Bearport's Extreme Cuisine series, including Spider-Tizers and Other Creepy Treats (Extreme Cuisine), Baby Bug Dishes (Extreme Cuisine), and Mammal Menu (Extreme Cuisine), as well as the forthcoming Shocking Seafood and Slithery, Slimy, Scaly Treats. All are illustrated lavishly with all-too-clear color photos of these exotic foodstuffs from all around the globe. Part gross-out browser, part sophisticated educational travel book, the Extreme Cuisine series is definitely not your father's nonfiction, but well suited to the tastes of some!

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