Flying Termites Taste The Best?
These days edible insects are gaining popularity in the western world. There are several different types of insects that are supposedly very tasty. Crickets and grasshoppers are the two most commonly mentioned edible insects in the west, and experienced edible insect connoisseurs seem to agree that these two insects are among the best tasting of all edible insects. In addition to crickets and grasshoppers, termites are also immensely popular treats in many countries, especially African countries. Many different cultures regard termites as a valuable food source. For example, the people of Zimbabwe have been chowing down on a particular culinary termite preparation for hundreds of years, and the delicacy is still popular in the African country today.
Every year around the month of December citizens of Zimbabwe eagerly prepare to eat large amounts of a particular type of food that is only available during this time of year. Of course, this food is termites, but more specifically flying termites. You may be inclined to assume that flying termites do not taste any differently than typical land-dwelling termites, but the people of Zimbabwe would disagree strongly. Citizens of Zimbabwe regard flying termites as their second most treasured edible insect behind the mopane worm. The flying termites are referred to as “ishwa” by natives, which translates to “flying alates”. Ishwa has been consumed by the people of Zimbabwe for centuries. Fresh ishwa can only be obtained during the annual flight of termite alates during the country’s rainy season which occurs late in the year.
One of Zimbabwe’s top chefs, Honest Danda, claims that it is a combination of proteins and fats that give ishwa its irresistible taste. Ishwa contains particularly high amounts of protein. Catching ishwa in the wild can be a fun activity for people in Zimbabwe. Many children become experts at extracting termites from their nesting-mounds after they are taught how to do so by their elders. This knowledge has been passed down from generation to generation over hundreds of years in Zimbabwe. If the concept of edible insects disgusts you, then ishwa may reverse your opinion.
Do you think that the sale of farm-raised termites to western nations could potentially boost struggling economies in third world countries?