As the saying goes, while in Rome, do as the Romans do, so while you’re in Bangkok, you’ll want to do as the Thai people do.
This includes trying the food that makes Bangkok special. You might have to step out of your comfort zone if you really want to have the full experience. What are your thoughts on insects?
Those creepy-crawly things, usually the recipient of a well-placed shoe in other parts of the world, are quite the commodity in Bangkok for the Thai diet. These cringe-worthy creatures can be tasty and are actually very nutritious.
Let’s take a look at some of these scrumptious critters.
Where to find them
You’ll have no trouble finding some fried delicacies at many of the push-carts on the streets of Bangkok. Khao San Road and Pat Pong are just two of the streets where you can find these rolling restaurants.
How about trying some grasshoppers, crickets, or queen ants? You’ll often find them deep-fried and served on a stick while some are fried and then served in bags with a special, secret sauce. Sounds delightful, doesn’t it?
If you’re really determined to try some insects in Bangkok, Khao San Road is the place to start. You’ll have no trouble finding a good variety to test your palate.
Several night markets around Bangkok also serve up insects, like Ratchadapisek Night Market on Saturdays and every night near the Major Ratchayothin Mall. Just take a walk around Bangkok and look for a push cart and you’ll probably find some insects on the menu.
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Even more unusual
Insects aren’t the only thing being served up in Bangkok. Scorpions, members of the arachnid family, are harder to find. If you’re “lucky” enough to find some, you better grab them up quickly, as they go fast.
They are usually deep-fried and often served on a stick for easy consumption. Their exoskeleton makes eating them more challenging however. Other popular delicacies are silk worms and bamboo worms.
Technically, they’re not insects, but they’re just as disgusting, if not moreso, for the insect-eating impaired. You’ll want to know that they look crunchy, but they’re not. It could be an unwelcome surprise to bite into a worm that is soft and mushy when you’re expecting a crunchy texture.
If you think you can handle it, then go for it. You might like them. Remember how you listened to the cicadas singing loudly on a hot summer day and found their outer skeletons all over the trees? They’re such cool bugs, aren’t they?
In Bangkok you can try one, wings and all. They’re not small enough to pop in your mouth, so you’ll probably want to tear off the wings first and then break the body open. If you can get past this part, the rest is easy.
Why we should all be eating more bugs
Variety is the spice of life
Each vendor uses his own special blend of spices, so don’t limit yourself to trying one and stopping there. You might be surprised to find one you really like. Some vendors serve up their insects with a special sauce too, as previously mentioned.
If you have a weak tummy, be sure to have a beer or other beverage ready in case your repulsion becomes too much. Cold beer is the preferred drink when eating bugs for those who truly enjoy them. Bring along some toothpicks too.
Those little legs and wings can get caught in your teeth and make for awkward moments later.
Go ahead and take the plunge. You may discover that insects aren’t so bad after all. If you still think they’re disgusting, wash them down with a cold beer or two so the experience isn’t too traumatic.