Hipster culture has a way of ruining literally everything. Grifters, especially corporate interests, try to make every quirky thing they can get their greedy hands on profitable. So when I saw that hipsters were preparing to turn a cicada swarm into a grift by trying to convince idiots that eating bugs was artisanal, I chuckled a little. Here’s some totally non-judgmental backstory:
I was a problem child. Once, when I was in elementary school (roughly around the time Windows 95 was in vogue) at the end of the semester, in that always-amazing time after you have done the exams but are still in school for a few days and there’s nothing to do but bullshit, I found a stack of rice crackers in back of one of the cupboards in a little side room where art supplies were kept, swarmed with ants. I told some kids I would eat them. Naturally they didn’t believe me- I took a bite, then started picking the ants off and devouring them. The ants were better than the stale crackers, and I told them this while laughing and making vomit references to gross them out. To my surprise, the teacher that was there told me to stop and was angry. Little did that dumb bastard know that he was looking at what could be a future artisanal cicada cook in 2021. He clearly ruined my career options!
Because I was born in a generation which has branched into the most cool people in human history, and simultaneously the most lame, “woke”, and stupid, I naturally chose the former path and became a slightly older deviant in the 2000s. This was a time of Hot Topic, Myspace, marijuana and pirating music. I have no clue if they still sell those “blood bag” energy drinks in Hot Topic anymore but presume you can still get edgy shit like roasted mealworms and lollipops with ants in them. I tried a dried scorpion once. It was pretty bland. I also tried roasting some grasshoppers myself. They were pretty similar. Bugs are made of chitin so they need to be cooked similar to how mushrooms are cooked. Since this requires sautéing etc, it is limited, really, in its environmental-friendly-ness. Orangutans are being driven to extinction by palm oil monoculture in Indonesia. Orangutans are way too cool for me to consider this anything but extremely disturbing. You can make your own sunflower oil if you grow a patch of them and defend them from squirrels. The latter is the harder part, trust me.
As a kid I tried black ants too- which are bitter and not good. But then I also ate buffalo testicles after the fear factor episode featuring them. They tasted like steak, but a bit tougher. The difference between me and a hipster is that I don’t make my culinary choices based on what is conventionally accepted, and don’t pretend these things are particularly tasty, simply saying it’s cool to try new things. As an aside, ostrich burgers really are delicious and jerky made from alligator is absolutely one of the best meats I have eaten. There are ten trillion zillion goddamn interesting recipes on the internet and people are pretending that cicadas- which I imagine are basically like mushrooms that suffered when you killed them- are some great new thing. Africans have been eating nets full of bugs smooshed into patties for ten thousand years. I’d rather go eat their food than deal with some retarded hipster who will try to get me to come to their museum of mid 1960s postcards. At least people outside of hipsterville understand seasoning.
Please let me know if it’s bad that I wouldn’t feel sorry for one of these people if they choked on their twenty dollar cicada-chai smoothie because I just ain’t feeling it.
The whole "eat the bugs, bigot," nonsense is so tedious. Deliberately eating bugs is for three situations: 1. You're a kid and you are testing boundaries or don't know any better; 2. You were just in a plane crash and it's either grubs or the dead pilot; or, 3. You are some savage or a bushman with no other source of protein. If you are not in one of these three categories, leave the bugs for other parts of the food chain and stop trying to be trendy.
I grew up in Mexico City, and moved to the US at age 21. When I brought my boyfriend home, years later, to meet my parents, we went to a restaurant specializing in indigenous cooking. My stepmom recommended we eat the “escamoles” which are ant eggs.
I refused, but my boyfriend, who wanted to impress my parents, agreed...he regrets it to this day 🤮