Friday, June 18, 2004

Creepy Crawly Cuisine

Creepy Crawly Cuisine

I've seen fried insects being sold by some street vendors in Bangkok. Haven't bothered to try them yet but I must say, they look kind of delicious. I wouldn't mind sinking my teeth into a mouthful these crunchy bugs.

Those that I have seen look like locusts but I've read that there are other varieties that are popular too: bettles, silkworm pupae and ant eggs. I've read that they have even been canned and sold in supermarkets. Fancy having some Campbell Mixed Insect Soup?

Those locusts sold in the streets are fried to a crispy brown and I'm sure with the right sauce, they'll go well with a cold Singha beer. If you find that disgusting, let me tell you something that I've read from the book The Damage Done, by an Australian guy, Warren Fellows about his twelve years of incarceration in a Bangkok prison.

Caught for trafficking heroin in the late seventies, he was subsequently put behind bars in Bangkok's notorious Bang Kwang prison, a.k.a. Bangkok Hilton. What he went through there--if everything he claimed in the book is true--was many times worse than what the Abu Ghraib prisoners suffered. It was hell on earth.

There the prisoners--half-starved and under-nourished from their meagre daily ration of dirty maggot-infested rice--had to rely on cockcroaches as their source of protein. They actually reared and fattened these cockcroaches with rice in their "farm" under the floorboards. Every now and then they would open the boards, scoop up some of these creepy bugs in a can; pound them into a mash, and with some oil and salt, ate them raw!

Mashed raw cockcroaches anyone?

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