THE BLOG
11/04/2013 11:24 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

5 Restaurants That Make Bugs Taste Delicious

Insects are one of the most divisive protein sources on Earth. You'll meet people who have no problem eating a raw cobra heart who still wouldn't touch a fried grasshopper with a 10-foot pole. But maybe after a visit to one of these eight restaurants that are making insects taste delicious, they'll change their minds.

  • 1 Sushi Mazi, Portland, Ore.
    Most of the time, when you see a creatively named sushi roll, like Red Spider Roll or Green Dragon Roll, it’s pretty clear that they don’t contain real spiders and dragons. But at the popular Sushi Mazi in Portland, their "real grasshopper sushi" contains just that: rice with a grasshopper on top. "You must have before you die!" the menu implores. Photo Credit: Sushi Mazi
  • 2 Dan Sung Sa, Oakland, Calif.
    This ode to Korean street food is one of the most raucous restaurants in Oakland. It’s most popular for its Korean fried chicken wings, but deep in the menu lurks a slightly more exotic item: chrysalis soup, a spicy broth with about 100 crunchy fried little silkworm pupae. We can’t even begin to imagine what this must taste like. Photo Credit: Yelp/Heather Y
  • 3 Mok Maru Jong Sul Jip, Los Angeles
    One of Koreatown’s most popular sports bars, this one also serves up a spicy silkworm cocoon soup. Must be a popular drinking food in Korea! Photo Credit: Mok Maru Jong Sul Jup
  • 4 Petty Cash Taqueria, Los Angeles
    Chapulines make an appearance as an off-menu item at this popular Los Angeles taqueria, in a taco that actually sounds pretty delicious: a handmade corn tortilla is topped with melted Jack cheese, a minty Oaxacan herb called hoja santa, a butterflied Santa Barbara spot prawn, avocado, and whole chapulines. Photo Credit: Yelp/Bun B
  • 5 Woods Creek Grill, Jonestown, Pa.
    Woods Creek touts itself as an "authentic Appalachian grill," and its menu is loaded with offbeat items like alligator, testicles, snake, and plenty of wild game. And while insects aren’t on the menu, if you ask politely you just might end up with a bowl of fried scorpions, crickets, mealworms, or another insect du jour (the scorpions reportedly taste just like peanuts). Photo Credit: © Flickr /Magic Rabbit Productions
    Click Here to see More Restaurants that Make Bugs Taste Delicious

People all around the world eat insects for a whole host of reasons, and people all around the world don't eat bugs for just as many reasons. So why would anyone consider eating something we're more used to swatting and cursing off? For one, they're a great protein source. Insects tend to have more protein, and less fat and calories, than just about any other meat on Earth. Second, they're really easy to farm, because they're small and have no problems reproducing exponentially. Third, when prepared properly, they can actually taste pretty good.
Now, there's a big difference between grabbing a grub from under a rock and slurping it down (slimy, yet satisfying!) and going to a fine restaurant and sampling fresh guacamole with crunchy fried chapulines on top. It's a mind-over-matter issue: if you don't think about it, the little fried grasshoppers are crunchy, nutty, and as good as any bar snack.

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But, especially in America, we've got some hang-ups about eating insects. Why waste your stomach space on a creepy-crawly when you can get your protein from a dry-aged porterhouse? Another viable concern is that insects don't really have any meat. When insect-eaters compare eating a cockroach to eating a lobster, we can't help but realize that cockroaches don't have tails and claws filled with light, delicious meat. If you eat an insect, all you're getting is an exoskeleton and internal organs, which really doesn't sound so great.
But when you eat an insect, you need to look beyond that, to see the bigger picture. They're one of the most sustainable protein sources on Earth and could quite possibly be the protein of the future, so you might as well buck up and try one. It won't be nearly as gross as you think. To help you cross that hurdle, we've assembled a list of eight restaurants around the country that are serving insect dishes that are undeniably tasty.

Click Here to see The Restaurants Around the World Making Bugs Taste Delicious Slideshow

-Dan Myers, The Daily Meal

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