Food Nation

Insect Eats in Houston, But Hey, Not the Call-the-Health-Department Kind

When the United Nations issued a report advocating the consumption of insects as part of a healthful and eco-friendly diet, I didn't squirm as much as some people. In third grade, some kid brought in chocolate-covered ants for show-and-tell and the braver (all right, greedier) students (myself included) volunteered to try one. My little sample was salty-sweet, with a pleasant exoskeletal crunch. Perhaps further proof that anything chocolate-covered is palatable.

When I traveled to Hong Kong many years later, I again had the chance to nosh on some bugs, specifically fried scorpions on sale at an herbal medicine shop. This time, I did not partake only because I was fresh out of HK dollars and they only took cash.

The next, and most recent, opportunity I had to eat insects was right here in Houston. On a double date at Hugo's, my husband and I goaded the other couple into ordering a round of the chapulines (grasshoppers). Sautéed and served with sides of tortillas, salsa and guacamole, the chapulines seemed poised to star in some sort of orthoptera soft taco. Their taste -- crispy, slightly oily and with a hint of chile -- was good but nothing special. But certainly nothing disgusting, and worth ordering again if just for the novelty.

These experiences have certainly left me open, if not eager, to eat more insects. Opportunities to do so in H-town are not, however, exactly plentiful.

Fried salted grasshoppers can be found at Asia Market, and I've spotted candied insects at Candylicious.

Yes, I know, the easiest way to eat bugs in Houston is to get on a bike, start riding and open my mouth. Har. Heard that one before.

But seriously, any leads on more entomological eats in Houston? Black market wasp waffles? Locust burgers? The Dairy Godmother of my old haunt, Alexandria, Virginia, recently offered Cicada Crunch ice cream. Amy's, I know you can do just as well.