I'll Try Anything Once: I Ate Some Bugs Because You Guys Told Me To

Because my ego is disproportionate to my worth, I felt like I couldn't disappoint “my public.” I Googled “edible bugs” and ordered some from Thailand in a manner that was most cavalier.
Publish date:
June 10, 2013
food, gross, xoFood, i'll try anything once, bugs, gross food, Andrew Zimmern

I don’t know that I would describe living with me as “fun.” My husband would call it “problematic.” I know I probably bummed my college roommate out with all the stress vomiting, but I made up for it with mashed potatoes and rice crispy treats. But be assured, cohabiting with this hot mess does have its perks: In addition to making my own beer, I do really good impressions of Gollum and Yoshi.

But then sometimes:

I think I had initially mumbled something about “edible bugs” arriving from Thailand, but I probably didn't really want him to understand what I was planning to do. Though he has gotten better during the course of our relationship, he’s a recovering picky eater. He doesn't say anything when I order shellfish, but I know it takes every ounce of self-control not to.

This (eating insects) wasn’t even entirely my idea. I blame Lesley and Doc Holligay (mostly the latter). First of all, Lesley wrote this awesome thing about how the UN was all “Bugs: Not Just for the Poors,” and “Bugs: They’ll Make You Skinny, Bitch!” which was weird, but Lesley already covered all this, so just go read her piece. Anyway, she did say that she would eat them if they were delicious, which made me wonder if they were, in fact, delicious. And thus, the seed of doubt was planted.

Then Doc Holligay got mouthy in the comments:

Kittens, twenty six upvotes is a dare; you dared me. And, because my ego is disproportionate to my talent, I felt like I couldn't disappoint “my public.” I Googled “edible bugs” and ordered some from Thailand in a manner that was most cavalier.

And then I waited.

And then they arrived.

And then it hit me; I’m not Andrew Fucking Zimmern. I’m not Bourdain. I’m not even Adam Richman, because I order my wings medium. Panic began to set in, and no amount of “They’re just tiny land lobsters!” was talking me down. But then I remembered that I had told the internet (quite boastfully) that I was going to eat bugs.

Luckily, I know a guy at work who has experience eating bugs, and his “NBD” attitude towards the whole thing was soothing. Also, he was the only person who wasn’t too grossed out to take pictures of me munching on insects (you know Sean wasn't having it).

1. Let’s talk about the “assorted bug mix”.

These looked a lot like bugs.

Rationally, I know that there is no reason eating bugs is gross. They are high protein, high fiber, all kinds of good, but I guess all my prejudice regarding bugs being “poor people food” is what prevented me from enjoying them.

Haha, no. What fucked it up (as Lesley predicted) is that it’s a fucking bug.

First, I ate this guy. I think he’s a grasshopper.

He was crunchy and salty and all things that are okay, and I masticated upon him until all that was left was a wing. This wing was un-chewable; it refused to be chewed. Sitting there, masticating endlessly (I eventually washed it down with Diet Pepsi) on something I was sure was a wing, made me slightly unhappy. There was also this weird powder on him which was listed in the ingredients simply as “BBQ.”

At first I was all:

But then I was all:

I ate a couple of the other, smaller bugs and they were fine; they mostly just tasted like the mysterious “BBQ” powder. Co-worker said they tasted like pesticide and he used to work at a greenhouse, so maybe he’s right.

I avoided the silkworm pupae because, for being dehydrated, he looked very juicy.


2. Chocolate Covered Silkworm Pupae

The trip from Thailand was not kind to these guys.

Sidebar: Should I quit referring to them as “guys”? Maybe that’s part of my problem? I’m weirding myself out over here.

I pried one from the lid it had melted to, which lead to me breaking through his exoskeleton with my thumb nail, and popped it in my mouth.

It tasted actually pretty good at first, kind of like a chocolate cover rice krispy thing, but then my taste buds were accosted by a flavore I can only describe as “unpleasant protein.”


Co-worker thought that maybe it was the flavor of the cheap chocolate that I didn’t like. I was pretty sure it wasn’t, because I can eat Palmer Brand chocolate coins, but for the sake of science I decided to try a plain silkworm for comparison.

This is what happened:

And that’s all we need to say about that.

3.Bamboo Worm Vodka

Because it’s expected.

This didn’t go as well as you would think it would have. Until about 7:00 this evening, all I had eaten was:

-Iced Coffee

-French Fries

-Aforementioned Bugs

-Six Almonds


Then, around supper time, I ate about five pieces of cheese toast. I say "about five" because the slices of bread were really small, but still.

My stomach was not pleased. So instead of diving straight into the worm-infused vodka, I started writing this while I let my stomach settle from what I’m sure it would describe as a “terrorist attack.”

Haha, stomach! You work for ME.

Anybarfs, after “the settling” I retrieved the 70mL bottle of worm vodka from its hiding place (because it was in real danger of being stolen). Then I realized I didn't know how to open this mofo.

Am I supposed to inject it? I’m pretty sure I have some clean needles in my garage (because doctor parents, not heroin), but that seemed like the wrong direction. Finally, I figured out that I had to remove all of the metal and then pull out the septum.

And then she was mine; and she tasted like vodka (why does everything have a gender in this post?).

At least I am 90% sure all I tasted was vodka, but there was that part of my mind that would not stop asking “Is that worm your tasting?” and “Do you even know what vodka tastes like? Are you sure you’re not just tasting really strong worm that burns?”

And then I felt slightly ill, but there was still a little in my glass, so I finished it off and promptly puked a little because my brain is an asshole and also maybe because all of the cheese toast.

So I can’t hang with Zimmern, okay? I feel like I failed somehow. First, I couldn't eat lion, now this. Let this picture express how I feel.

What do you guys want me to eat next?