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You aren’t what you eat; especially if that includes insects!

By Mike Peters ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-07-25 16:09:58

 

You aren’t what you eat; especially if that includes insects!

You aren’t what you eat; especially if that includes insects!

Dumpling Delight 

You aren’t what you eat; especially if that includes insects!

Homey and rich tastes of Georgia in beachside landscape 

The guide smiled, putting the beast back in the cooler and pulling out a small vial of clear liquid.


"Try it this way," he said. "The essence is distilled as a flavoring, and you can add it to the dipping sauce for your egg rolls."

Not likely, I thought, as the innocent-looking tube was passed around.

I watched as my new French friends took a whiff. Their eyes widened.

"It’s like flowers!" the bride exclaimed as her husband nodded. Obviously they’d been drinking a lot of champagne the night before. I took a tentative sniff. Zowie!

"It’s like Chanel No 5 or something," I said. "THIS came out of that bug?"

Apparently so, and it gave a nice floral edge to the dipping sauce. We all agreed it was quite yummy, though there were still no takers for the crunchy original.

It’s easier to open wide for a water bug with eau de parfum, or ants that are chocolate-covered, than to scoop up fried bamboo worms at a Yunnan eatery. More often, such creatures are bait for dares among tourists: Scorpion on a stick, anyone?

But insects are plentiful and full of protein in a world that increasingly faces food shortages. Some of the world’s top chefs are intrigued by the possibilities: Rene Redzepi, who runs the kitchen at Copenhagen’s famous NOMA restaurant, recently touted a sauce made from fermented grasshoppers. Hmmm.

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