Some things in life are best done quickly. Removing of bandaids, breaking of hearts, cracking of necks, 20/20 cricket, eating crickets.
Eating crickets. Like the insects.
26 down. 30 to go.
Now as every smug bucket-lister probably knows, each list item is approached with much gusto. “Oh this is gonna be fuckin easy. Cricket in, cricket down, cricket gone.” Bandaid approach.
I talked myself in to a really false sense of confidence all week. Eating insects? Ha! Easy. I was so convinced this would be a walk on the cricket pitch that I managed to convince not only my other half, but also my best mate to join in on the festivities. “Oh come on, of course you can do it, it’s gonna be so easy!”
Sheesh, all these scaredy cats hey?
A few months ago I was dining at a funky little Mexican restaurant near home and spied crickets on the menu. “Crickets? Crickets? Who eats crickets?” Well, in answering my own question apparently lots of people in certain parts of the world. Mexico and other South American, certain Asian and African countries, those Paleo dieters who seem to be as opinionated as vegans apparently froth all over crickets too. Well, there ya go!
Here in Australia they’re a little less common, but as I said, little Mexican restaurant in Mount Lawley, el Publico, serves these babies up, apparently also available in packaged snack variety from certain health stores.
I opted for the venturing out option, because, ah, #redwine.
We waste no time in ordering. I’m expecting a plate of 2cm-ish sized cricket shaped deep fried things to get brought to our table. Batter em up, fry em silly and off they go. Easy.
I was all prepared and ready to go…
And then this got delivered…….
This pile of crickets has been delivered in what looks like an ashtray, and, well, they look just like crickets! EXACTLY LIKE CRICKETS!! I can see their eyes! How can there even be any meat in there? I shit you not, it almost looks like someone left something really tasty in an old ashtray overnight and the crickets went to town on it, and then they delivered it to us for dinner!
They’ve been fried in some sort of chilli concoction and still literally look like they are little house crickets.
El gusto = gone.
A good 30 minutes goes by of general chit chat, avoiding the crickets, exclaiming at the grossness of the idea of eating said crickets, the drinking of wine etc. etc. etc…
“So, who’s going to go first then??” I’ve put on my best, charming, puppy dog eyes face.
They don’t buy it.
The general consensus around the table is IT’S YOUR BUCKET LIST, YOU ARE GOING FIRST.
Damn. It was worth a shot.
I know they say it’s rude to play with your food, but I was buying myself quality minutes here!!! Plus, there had to be photographic evidence.
I sift through the ashtray of house crickets, and find an appropriate dinner. Not too fat, not too skinny, no loose antennae, not too big but not too small and meat less.
Eventually I realise I really need to JFDI. Just. Fucking. Do. It.
In it goes.
Wash it down!
For those of you who want to see THAT action, jump on Instagram – username @erry_twentynein or Facebook Twenty-nein. I’ll share the videos.
I ate 6. 6 little crickets. I can’t actually justify the reason I stopped, there was dead set still 100 little crickets in the ashtray when we finished… It’s all a mindset. I couldn’t get over the fact they were crickets. The 6th one I downed, a little antennae got stuck side ways on my tongue and that was it, GAME OVER!
Was it really as scary the lead up? No. But I don’t give a shit, next insect I eat I shall still carry on like a drama queen.
Was it tasty? Hrmmm, yes. Believe it or not. Imagine eating a chicken leg or a piece of the chicken where there isn’t much flesh between the skin and the bone… That really crunchy kind of tasty part where it’s mostly just crispy chicken skin….. Taste’s like that!
Why don’t I freak out at the idea of eating chicken skin? Well, I am no mind expert but I imagine 2 things. Grew up on chicken, and the chicken doesn’t look like an ACTUAL CHICKEN when you eat it!
Moving forward, apparently eating these little babies is the way of the future. But that my friends, is for someone else to contemplate. Google can probably help you out!
A few days later, I’m watching my boy cat Baloo jump around at a cricket or other bug on the window outside.
I laugh at the thoughts going through my head. At home we cheer the cats on when they catch crickets around the house! Imagine in Mexico? “No! Noooooooo Felix!!! That’s our dinner!!!!!! Holaaaaaaa…”
And on that note, another day, another 30 list item done.