I've never had a guest blogger on my site before, but my friend, Robert Watkins, has a story that's entirely too cool for me to embellish or tinker with. So I'll present it to you as he did to me, his account of eating a bowlful of fried wasps and yellow jackets in a remote region of China, during his travels there as Director of Global Missions for the Cumberland Presbyterian Church:
"We left Kunming for the 12-hour bus ride to Jinping in south China, which was close enough to the Vietnam border that we could see their lush green mountains. Jinping is so Chinese that few western influences have entered. Rev. Lawrence Fung from San Francisco, a group of five other Chinese from his church, and I entered a little family-run kitchen in a rustic wooden house on a side street. Actually, it was the nicest house within sight. The tables were similar to wooden picnic tables in the park. Red and white checked vinyl cloths covered each of the two tables.
We asked for menus and were informed that they had no such thing. Instead, they began to list a few things that we could have. But the dishes they were offering made no sense to Lawrence and the other Chinese who were used to Cantonese names for dishes, so they finally invited us to into the kitchen to see what was available. One of the first things to catch my attention was this bowl of wasps and yellow jackets. I asked what those things were doing in the kitchen, and they said that they were often eaten in that area.
This was right down my alley, something I had never eaten before. We selected several leaves, vegetables, chopped up meats (never can be too certain about those!) and asked to sample the wasps. I thought they would bring in a dozen or so of them but was surprised to see they fried up the whole bowlful. I don't know how they did it, but it was a delicate dish, because the little creatures arrived with their tiny wings still attached to each thorax.
I wondered: Will the venom irritate my stomach? Turns out they were really good and indistinguishable from french fries, except for the strange buzz I got from the meal." [har har!]
Thanks, for sharing this, Bob. I guess you know I'll have to try them some day and write my own blog about them.
But tell me, will eating bugs give you an insection?! ;)