Bugs You Can Eat

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de Bry

Luoyang, China

Peter: The [restaurant] manager puts [live scorpions] into a small bowl of water. The scorpions aren't happy about this—they start thrashing about. A good sign, I decide. If we are going to eat live scorpions, let them be very alive. With chopsticks, the manager removes the scorpions from their bath and drops them in rice wine for a few minutes. The scorpions stop struggling and go into a coma. The chef then scissors off the tail stingers and poison sacs and arranges the scorpions on a plate. … We've been in China a month and so far my taste buds have been assaulted more times than the Great Wall. I brace myself, but the experience isn't so bad. It's very chewy with a gutsy, almost fishy taste.

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