Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Exotic Nutrition

The BBC Online today published a pictorial treatment of a nutritious food -- locusts. To eat locusts may shock non-desert dwellers. But I remember this: the Biblical record suggests that locusts have been eaten for millenia.

SEE: The locust eaters: Pictures of how 'desert shrimps' make it from the field to the table. Photo at left is a sample.

The people interviewed for this article dip deep-fried locusts in hot, salty chili sauce and really enjoy the taste, which they compare to shrimp. The article describes how men go into the desert at night to catch basketfuls of locusts, and sell them to market women who cook them for their customers. It's very fascinating.

Quote from a locust hunter: "I mean, yes, the locusts are eating up our crops, but we are also eating them up and making money to boot. So, both man and locust are losers, but I think they are worse off because we are eating them. I guess you could say one bad turn deserves another."

A book I read, Arabian Sands by W.Thesiger, (Armchair travel to Arabian Sands) discussed the migration of locusts -- his original impetus for travel to the Empty Quarter of Arabia was to learn more about locust migrations.

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