Food insect consumption in India

For the past three years, Dr. P.C. Bhattacharjee of the Animal Ecology Laboratory, Gauhati University, has been associated with the research project, “Ethno-biological Studies of the Bodo Tribe of Assam,” which is sponsored by the Government of India. He writes, in part:

“I have surveyed a number of areas covering three tribes-Bodo, Demasa and Sonowal Kachari in different parts of Assam and I was surprised at the number of insects which they eat on a mass scale and which they use for medicinal purposes. I have already recorded a large number of them.”

American tourists try Aztec cuisine.

Bob Keeney and Marilyn King of Atlanta, Georgia, write in part: “. . . Upon arriving at the restaurant [in Mexico City] where few tourists ever go, and where our limited knowledge of Spanish didn’t help too much, some Mexican VIP business persons helped us out.

“Well, we finally lost our virginity in regard to this cuisine on 1) Jumiles tostadas con guacamole, 2) Chapulines tostadas con guacamole from the menu, but had to order off the menu 3) Escamoles. The first two dishes tasted like roasted nuts and the third was almost like a semi-sweet dessert. All three were served with corn tortillas. We also had armadillo filet. And washed it all down with good Mexican beer. The evening cost us about $30.00 U.S., but we saved a lot by riding the subway (Metro) – 100 pesos per person, or under 4 cents US per person.

“Our palate is becoming ever-increasingly international, and we would not hesitate to enjoy these treats again, as well as trying any others available.

“Until North Americans get away from their conditioned prejudices, I doubt there is any possibility of insects ever becoming edible in the USA. Well, and good, as I would hate to see a diminished supply increase the prices … [The Newsletter] has opened up a whole new dining horizon to us.”

(Note: jumiles are a kind of squash bug, chapulines are grasshoppers, escamoles are ant larvae/pupae).