BANGKOK: Of Grasshoppers and Fried Cockroaches
We thought we wouldn’t find them but we did. So we gave them lots of loving.
*Try not to heave.
We thought our last days in Thailand were pretty tame and it would be near impossible to try and fit everything on our list of To-Do’s and Must-See’s while in Bangkok. Knowing full well we’d better just calm down and leave unfinished business for another visit, we decided to check out the bustling night bazaars around Siam Square for some last minute souvenir hunting. We had to grab some dinner before that though so we skipped merrily across the busy highway from our hostel towards the market stalls near MBK Center.
At that point of the trip Jake and I thought we’ve had enough of Thai food– what with the distinct aroma wafting from food stalls sending waves of nausea throughout our gastrointestinal systems.
Jake: Yeah, great idea. All this exotic-ness is getting to me too.
Gingerly perusing food stalls while trying to breathe normally despite all the smells wasn’t too tough a task. Soon afterwards we spotted a vendor selling trays of seemingly fried goodies.
Well, there goes our normal Pinoy dinner.
When madame vendor lady handed us our bag of not-chips she motioned for a pepper shaker and something that resembled soy sauce.
Jake & Belle: YES, PLEASE!!!
Anything to mask the taste of whatever insect was about to make its way down our stomachs.
Where do I find fried insects in Bangkok? Pretty much everywhere but you gotta do some looking. But most specifically around Khao San Road, Banglamphu (Near Athit Pier), Chatuchak Weekend Market, Patpong area in Silom Road, Soi Cowboy near Asok Skytrain Station, Ratchadapisek Night Market, Pahurat (Textile Market near Chinatown)
What can I expect to find in those trays? Fried cockroaches, grasshoppers, water beetles, ants, scorpions (rare), crickets, silk larvae, bamboo worms and spiders. Oh gawrsh, goodbye breakfast/lunch/dinner.
How do I choose which one to try? Save yourself the question and request for one of each in a bag. Or… go for the near emptied out tray. In our case, the cockroach tray seemed nearly empty in comparison to the rest. But since those disgusting #@*^%$*# parasites sends ripples of horror up our spines, we went for the fried grasshoppers instead. So then we wouldn’t have to worry about crunching into one with the sticky eggs inside. What nightmares are made of.
Lamer if you fall for the usual empty-tray scenario which is what we suspected. (Meh. Reasons, reasons, reasons.) What if roaches were miraculously off-season that time? What if people didn’t want them much so the law of supply and demand calls for the meager amount?
C’mon. Help me choose- which one? Different bugs have different levels of risk so to speak. We heard that some are crunchier, some meatier (ugh) and some have surprises inside. And I’m not just referring to good surprises obviously.
How much would they cost? Ours was 20 baht a bagful. Probably less than 20 grasshoppers. Most were huge.
Lastly, why? Rich in protein, low in cholesterol, great with beer and a story which belongs in a trophy case.
P.S. What did the grasshoppers taste like? Not bad actually. It was like eating junk food but we do encourage you to try it for yourself. Jake didn’t squirm after the first bite and I finished the whole bag (save the last one which I kind of spit out since the weird nutty taste started coming together) If you like chewing on stuff with the consistency of shrimp heads then you wouldn’t have a problem. Other than that, getting one past your throat would surely give you goose bumps.
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