by aengelson | April 24th, 2010
Well, check that one off the life list. I have eaten crickets.
They were quite good, actually. Last night we went out with a few of Joanie’s coworkers. We ate at Highway 4, a kind of odd Vietnamese restaurant that I believe was started by expats but has grown pretty popular among Vietnamese diners as well. It serves all sorts of Vietnamese specialties, with an emphasis on foods from the mountain highlands. Also, they stock a lot of flavored liqueurs based on the classic Vietnamese rice wine, or ruou. They come in flavors like rose-apple, passion fruit, mulberry, ginseng, etc. They’re OK, but a little sweet to my taste.
So, the crickets. They were deep fried to a crisp and served with papery, fried lemon leaves and small pieces of fried pork fat (kind of like pork rinds). I downed one beer first to get up my courage and then popped a critter in my mouth. It was light and dry, almost melt-in-your-mouth. The lemon leaves were a nice touch, giving it a subtle tartness. You could also dip the fried bugs in a lime/salt/chili mix, which I’m convinced would make a fried flip-flop taste great.
But in all seriousness, the crickets were actually quite tasty. I’m struggling with something to compare them to, maybe tiny popcorn shrimp, but that’s not quite it. I’m not much of an adventure-food eater, but this was pretty tame overall. We also ordered some spicy frog’s legs, which were delicious, like buffalo wings, but with tinier bones. Plus, the chicken in passion fruit was great, and so were the minced clams with garlic, which you scooped up on prawn crackers.
Apologies to my vegetarian, vegan, and squeamish omnivore friends!