Today I Ate A Cricket

I want to put a picture here, but I feel it's a rather rude surprise and not really sure I want to look at it anyway. Check hotlix.com if you're curious.
I talk a fairly good game in the food world. But for all I think I'm adventurous, I am far more squeamish than I'd like to admit. And despite anthropology courses, reading Marvin Harris's Good to Eat, growing up with Fear Factor having an unnecessary but ubiquitous presence on television, and having blind-tasted a variety of things in research, I was having serious qualms about even ordering these supplies for the lab. I'm not an insect girl, even when they're outdoors, and I don't like the looks of them any better when they're in tiny packages covered with seasoning.
So. They arrived today, to my horror and the boss's joy, which was probably derived primarily from the skepticisim evident on my face. I don't think we keep them on hand for any other reason than shock value and the novelty. We opened a package of the bacon and cheese crick-ettes, and because I really am that much of a wuss, we downed one each at the same time like it was a grade-school dare. I did manage to keep my eyes open, but it was a slight stretch. They look exactly like dead crickets.
It's crunchy, and it tastes a little like artificial bacon and cheese. She told me that chitin, the same sort of texture of a shrimp shell, is the crunchiness, the exoskeleton. They're not bad, in the sense that they are edible, and probably the flavor might even be pleasant on, say, a rice cake or popcorn. Rationally, cognitively, that they are nutritious and an accepted food source in other cultures - it makes sense, but it was still damn hard for me to get past it. I think I'm glad I ate one, but I'm also glad I don't have to eat another.


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