A trip with my kids to the St. Louis Science Center proved something cool: bugs are yummy, except crickets. They had a special exhibit called Harry's World, which was an exhibit filled with bugs. It had cockroach races, a house where children pretended to be a Terminix representative and search for bugs, butterflies, and even some edible bugs. And that was the most important spot. An entomoligist, every day, prepares bugs for the people to try and taste. So, I had to give a try. Even more so, Andrew Zimmern, this is for you.
So, there was a bowl of crickets and two bowls of waxworms. There was one waxworm that had a spicy hot pepper and Southwest flavor to it. The other waxworm had a sugar and cinnamon seasoning.
So, my review of the bugs is this: the cinnamon and sugar waxworms tasted just like dry Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. I could eat a bowl of them. As long as they don't get soggy in milk. The Southwest style waxworms were a bit spicy and the spices worked well also. As for the crickets, the taste was okay, but a wing got caught in the neck of my throat and reminded me of the same feeling as when you eat popcorn and get a slip of kernel on your throat. It took me several minutes till I got a drink to wash it down.
Still, the most amazing thing that made this experience even more amazing was doing it with my two boys. I held out my hand with the Cinnamon and Sugar Waxworms and offered one to both of my kids after trying one. My oldest, who normally is very grossed out about bugs and slimy things, immediately and without hesitation, reached into my hand, picked one up and ate it. My other son, who loves things of the macabre, loves bugs and the strange and odd, was afraid to eat the bugs and took a few steps back from me.
I think that experience is likened to that of Andrew Zimmern's first experience with strange food. I think that kids will do and try anything, provided that a positive role model does the same.