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Bucket List of 23 Bugs Around the World to Eat

Are you hungry and gastronomically adventurous? Think about adding some edible bugs to your dinner menu.

There are about 1700 types of bugs eaten in 113 countries. What bug would make your mouth water?

1. Ants
Many varieties of ants are edible; Leafcutter, Honeypot and Lemon being some of the most popular. The Chinese keep warm in the winter months with a hot ant soup.
Ant Edible Bugs Pictures
photo courtesy of Charles & Clint

2. Bee Larvae
Bee Larvae is eaten live, straight from the honycomb, in Vietnam. It can also just be simply sauteed in butter. I’ll take option two for the edible bug.
Eating Bee Larvae
photo courtesy of crabchick

3. Beetles
You can nosh on several types of Beetles in Thailand. The Water Beetle is often served either roasted or fried and said to taste like scallops. And probably cheaper.
Edible Water Beetle
photo courtesy of Arthur Chapman

4. Caterpillars
In Botswana, caterpillars are dried and stored for future meals. Yum. Leftovers.
Caterpillar
photo courtesy of gwendolen

5. Cicadas
Said to have an asparagus-like flavor, most people like their Cicada deep-fried and served with a sweet mustard sauce.
Cicada Edible Bugs Pictures
photo courtesy of C.K.H.

6. Cockroaches
Processed cockroaches have been used to cure illnesses for centuries or, if you are feeling healthy, try a cockroach stir-fry.
Cockroaches Edible Bugs Pictures
photo courtesy of listentoreason

7. Crickets
Mexico, Thailand and Cambodia all enjoy snacking on crickets. In Thailand you can buy a bag of ready-to-eat pregnant crickets.
Edible Fried Crickets
photo courtesy of wallyg

8. Dragonflies
Popular in Indonesia and China, they got their name because their jaw resembled that of a dragon.
Edible Bugs Pictures Dragonfly
photo courtesy of Roj

9. Fly Pupa
After a fly graduates from its larva infancy and just before it becomes an adult, it is a pupa. At only 8mm long, it makes them perfect for sauteing a handful with a touch of olive oil.
Edible Bugs Pictures Fly Pupaphoto courtesy of Armed Forces Pest

10. Grasshoppers
Next time you throw a traditional Mexican dinner party, roasted grasshoppers with chile and lime would make a nice addition. Or just garnish a cupcake with the little critter.
Edible Bugs Pictures of Grasshopper
photo courtesy of Miss Cupcake Canada

11. June bug
Native Americans perfected the art of June bug “popcorn” by roasting them on hot coals.
Edible Bugs Pictures of June Bug
photo courtesy of ViaMoi

12. Locust
Locusts are eaten pretty much throughout the world; Africa, India, Indonesia, etc… In Cambodia they will stuff the abdomen with a peanut and lightly grill.
Edible Bugs Pictures of Locusts
photo courtesy of Fraser Lewry

13. Mealworm
Mealworms are the larvae of the beetle and tend to taste like what they have been raised on. In the United States, Mealworm Chocolate Chip Cookies are a favorite.
Edible Bugs Pictures Meal Worms
photo courtesy of hans s

14. Midge Flies
In Africa, Midge Flies are compressed into solid blocks and made into Kunga Cake.
Edible Bugs Pictures of Midge Flies
photo courtesy of El Frito

15. Pillbugs
Also known as woodlice or roly-polies, the Pillbug is a terrestrial crustacean related to lobster, shrimp and crab. The yummiest ones are said to be the ones that quickly roll up into a ball when approached.
Edible Bugs Pictures of Edible Bugs
photo courtesy of Wanderin’ Weeta’

16. Scorpions
If you are in China don’t miss out on noshing on some tasty Scorpions. Many chefs will dip them into rice wine and then cut their stingers off just prior to popping them into their mouth.
Fried Scorpians
photo courtesy of maubrowncow

17. Silk Worm
Sold by street vendors in most of Asia, silk worms can be roasted to give them a crunchy texture.
Edible Bugs Pictures of Silk Worms
photo courtesy of Mai Le

18. Stink Bugs (Jumiles)
High in Vitamin B, Stink Bugs are often added to stews because of their cinnamon flavor.
Stink Bug
photo courtesy of cotinis

19. Tarantulas
A Cambodian delicacy, the crunchy legs will remind you of eating a crab, but it will taste nuttier.
Eating Tarantulas
photo courtesy of Paul Mannix

20. Termites
Termites are found during the rainy season in Africa and parts of Indonesia. They can then be roasted, fried or made into a flour.
Edible Bugs Pictures of Termites
photo courtesy of Velo Steve

21. Walking Stick
Tasting somewhat leafy, Walking Sticks are eaten in Asia and New Guinea. And their legs can be used as fishing hooks. Bonus.
Walking Stick Bug
photo courtesy of Nutch Bicer

22. Wasps
Popular in Japan, Wasps are versatile; roast, fry, saute or eat them like Emperor Hirohito by simply boiling and serving with rice.
Eating Fried Wasps
photo courtesy of paularps

23. Witchetty Grubs
A staple in Aboriginal diet in Australia, Witchetty Grubs are dug out of roots and eaten raw or cooked.
Witchetty Grubs
photo courtesy of Daryl Fritz

Have you eaten any of these bugs before? Which ones will you add to your bucket list?

Disclosure: I am not a bug expert and probably will never be one. I have no guarantee on the safety of eating bugs. Consult an expert before eating any sort of bug, some can be dangerous.

21 Comments

  1. You know I ate crickets and locusts on Monday this week already! My cousin tried cockroach in Thailand… I think bees shouldn't be encouraged really especially the larvae as they are dwindling in population… The restaurant I ate bugs at had taken them off the menu for that reason. 
    I could have eaten mealworms too… But really decided I had ticked the box by then! Hehe!

  2. It’s been a busy bug week for you! Thanks for pointing out the info on bee larvae.

  3. I've had crickets (in a taco in DC), grasshoppers (roasted in Korea), and silkworm (steamed, on the street in Korea). Mostly they all tasted quite good. The silkworm pupa smell awful though (the taste is okay, but I can't eat more than a few) and is ubiquitous on the streets of Korea.

  4. A cricket taco doesn’t sound all bad, if you add lots of guacamole and cheese :)

  5. Your pictures made my stomach turn. Before I saw the pictures, I thought I might be game to try crickets or silkworms. But now — not so much. Did you eat any?

  6. I have only tried crickets, but I will be traveling to Thailand soon and I’m sure I could check off quite a few strange foods from my bucket list!

  7. URGH!! Fly Pupa and grubs – I would retch!! Have you tried them? xx

  8. Only crickets so far, but the rest is on the bucket list. I hope I don’t vomit!

  9. I tried deep fried scorpion in China.  It seems from your list that Asians LOVE bugs!

    I'd try the mealworm chocolate chip cookies.  The Walking Stick bug is HUGE.  No thanks!

  10. Fried Scorpian is the one bug that I absolutely want to try when I go to Thailand. Is it tasty? I think the Walking Stick scares me the most, he’d have to be cut into bite-sized pieces!

  11. Cockroaches?  Yow!  And good lord, that walking stick is HUGE!!!  

  12. The walking stick will probably be the LAST thing I munch on from that list!

  13. that was an interesting post (glad I already had my dinner, too, before reading it! haha). Have you tried any of these before?  I don't think I could try them even if someone paid me! 

  14. I have only tried the crickets, but am open to other ones…maybe not the Walking Stick!

  15. Oh wow so I was kind of ready for a snack before I opened this post, but now I think it's safe to say I won't be craving food until tomorrow! EEEEKKKK I can't believe all these critters are edible!!! We are starting our Asian travels in Sept and I know as a foodie/food blogger/cook I must try some of the bugs to get a feel for how they taste and broaden my culinary horizons but I really can't imagine biting into any of the bugs! 

  16. You will definitely get many “bug eating” opportunities is Asia. If it looks really gross, just tell them to deep-fry it. Everything tastes better deep-fried ;)

  17. Yes that's definitely true – the deep frying part always makes food better! haha Speaking of deep fried — have you had deep fried oreos before? I've never had them but just recently heard about them! 

  18. Oh my gosh, we couldn't be more different in this are!!! I only eat from certain restaurants, I always order the same thing, I hate trying new foods and I always think about when I travel to countries like India, china and Africa one day I assume tha that I will live off bottled water and something heavily processed….and American! Lol I have a very weak stomach and after being gastronomically adventurous in Paris once and becoming so I'll I could not leave my room for 3 days, I do not like to try new foods for fear of ruining my trip. And eating bugs….that's one thing I don't think I'll ever do!!!!

  19. I am sure my love for eating strange foods will kick me in the butt one day. So far, I have been fairly lucky and not had any illnesses. I hope I didn’t just jinx it!

  20. Very interesting, but I don't know if I could do it. I know it is just about mindset, but…..

  21. Completely understand!

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