When most people in North America think of bugs, they immediately want to scream or gag. There are not too many people in the world who don't get creeped out when they see a bug with multiple legs crawling their way. Nevertheless, that's just North America. If you've watched multiple episodes of Naked and Afraid, you would know that many of these people looking for food munch on bugs for protein. So it would make sense that different culture would also eat similar bugs, too.
While these bugs may leave a (literal) bad taste in your mouth, other cultures call these bugs delicacies. Whether they're eaten alive, fried, crushed, or baked into a dish — these bugs are more delicious than creepy in these 10 countries around the world.
10 Witchetty Grubs - Australia
Australia is known for its animals and creepy crawlers, but did you know they sometimes eat the creepy crawlers, too?!
While the Witchetty Grub isn't technically a species, they're what the Aussies call fat, white larvae. These larvar—who eventually turn into moths—can be found eating wood, but you can also find them cooking over an open fire at some barbeques in Australia.
9 Crickets - Thailand
Crickets may be the one insect most people know other cultures eat, thanks to the show Fear Factor. But in Thailand, they are a delicacy — not something to hide from. These little guys are a popular sack in Thailand and can be prepared in a variety of ways — from raw to fried. If you venture into Thailand's popular food vendor markets you'll see plenty of crickets ready to be snacked on.
8 Maggots - Italy
Thanks to an Italian dish called Casu Marzu, some Italians enjoy munching on maggots. Now, these maggots aren't necessarily in their whole form (like crickets from Thailand), but they are mashed into something called "maggot cheese" for the casu marzu. The cheese is made from sheep's milk and during the fermentation process, they enter maggots.
If you can stomach this cheese knowing what's inside, it's said to be very delicious and is often eaten at dessert.
7 Queen Ant Egg - Mexico
The last thing most of us want to think about is an ant laying an egg... Or multiple eggs, for that matter. In fact, the mere thought of thousands of ant eggs lying around is sure to send a shiver up your spine. In parts of Mexico, however, the queen ant egg is a delicacy.
Also called escamol, these larvae are found in the roots of agave, which are usually fried and later turned into a soup or stew. Esamol is said to taste "nutty" and can be found around Mexico City.
6 Live Scorpions - China
When most people think of scorpions, they think of the sheer fact that something so little can take them down. They're extremely dangerous and most people run for the hills if they even THINK one is nearby. In China though? They eat them alive.
In China, insects are eaten all the time, in many different forms. However, when it comes to scorpions, most Chinese dip these living scorpions into hot oil, sprinkle them with seasoning and eat them while they're hot. While you'll find them served this way at many food vendors in the street, some restaurants serve them dipped in wine sauce instead of hot oil. How classy!
5 Deep-fried A-Ping (Fried Spider) - Cambodia
While eating "a ping" doesn't sound too scary, eating a tarantula sure does! In Cambodia, fried tarantulas are a delicacy and are typically cooked with fried garlic and spices. What makes these fried spiders so...delicious...is that they're crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. Perhaps these spiders will taste better for some folks because they're not alive like the scorpions in China?
4 Wasps - Japan
Like other parts of Asia, eating bugs is completely normal in Japan, which is why eating wasps is not big deal to them. In fact, in different parts of Japan, there's even a Kushihara Wasp Festival to honor different wasps and showcases different ways you can eat them.
If you're going to eat a wasp one day, eating it in Japan where they know what they're doing is probably your best bet. The Japanese sometimes grind these bugs up and cook with them, douse them in different seasoning and sauces, or bake with them for rice cookies!
3 Stink Bugs - Mexico
Come springtime, stink bugs are those annoying little guys who never seem to leave (or die, for that matter). They're super strong and never seem to leave. In different parts of Mexico, however, they have a resolution to that problem: they eat them. Like Japan, rural parts of Mexico also have a festival celebrating these bugs. Along with being...tasty, these stink bugs are also said to have medicinal purposes, which is why many indigenous groups used them for. While stink bugs can be eating alive and raw, most people in Mexico prefer to eat them seasoned.
2 Dragonflies - Indonesia
Most people feel inspired when they see a dragonfly. They're beautiful and fast and aren't seen too often (depending on where you live). But in different parts of Indonesia, these bugs are a delicacy. Considering dragonflies keep mosquitos away, in rural parts of Indonesia with a large mosquito problem tend to eat dragonflies, preventing mosquitos from biting them. Instead of eating the dragonflies whole—like many other cultures—those in Indonesia rip off the wings and say it kind of tastes like crab. Interesting!
1 Mopane Worm - South Africa
The Mopane Worm is an edible caterpillar and is very popular for their protein. In Zimbabwe, the worm was named after the mopane tree and aren't only tasty, but beautiful, too.
In both city and rural areas, these worms are prepared in a few different ways. A popular way to eat them, however, is to cook them and squeeze out their insides. That way you can eat the crispy skin.