Insects and arachnids are eaten the world over. It’s only in the so-called western countries that we deem it strange. Here in China it’s not as common to eat insects as it once was, but you’ll still find it in certain places.
The tourist markets in Beijing are filled with creepy crawlers on a stick, but in the southern province of Yunnan you can get a more authentic taste. I recently came across some of the more Beijing-style insects at a food festival in Lanzhou, where I live. My dish of choice for the day was scorpion.
There were small scorpions on a stick, and huge ones, but as I was with friends I went for the small ones so we could share. Everybody was bit hesitant, some very hesitant, but in the end we all agreed it was actually pretty good eating.
The scorpions were extremely crunchy, and had a slight savory and salty taste. There was no foul intestinal taste whatsoever. The fleshy part of the body had a slight chew to it like beef jerky. The whole thing reminded me of crispy fried chicken skin, crispy, crunchy, and salty. Darn it, I should have bought more.
Fear Factor – 6 / Taste Test – 9