tarantulas in a can

I will get back to perfume fairly soon, but in the meantime I can’t resist sharing today’s new vending machine photo.

Obviously meant to shock ( I witnessed a young Japanese couple gasp as they stopped momentarily in front of the ecologically sound, ultra new protein dispenser by Kannai station), dried insects packed into in a can , that are being quite seriously —while very self consciously super wacko —- promoted as a viable variety of stimulating snack.

I personally don’t have that kind of entomological curiosity. I could NEVER. Not in a million years unless actually starving. I am too instinctively repulsed. The crunching. The bits in your teeth (I have tried fried locusts here once and it left a mental greasy residue of permanent semi regret..), and I shuddered inwardly, on viewing the extensive push-of-a-button-edible insects and pupae – particularly at the sight of by far the most expensive item on the menu : a can of desiccated tarantula


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16 responses to “tarantulas in a can

  1. Hanamini

    I have had cockroach, worms, crickets, and ants, but never any spider. It’s the way of the future, but I’ll likely be gone before we get there. Thankfully.

    • Braver than I am .

      I understand all the pluses, but no.

      Part of me wants to buy the tarantula just to see how it is presented, but I probably won’t.

      I think tarantulas are their whole own genre of horror : I am not especially arachnophobic, but they prod the hairy primal horror

    • Ps how did you come to eat cockroaches ? This generally doesn’t happen

      • Hanamini

        🙂 Well I can assure you I didn’t just open my mouth to catch one of the flying ones in my Tokyo shitamachi apartment. A Thai shop, in a plastic takeaway container, but not in Thailand – somewhere else in SE Asia, can’t remember where. I have such a visceral horror of them, they elicit noises I didn’t know I could make. But I needed to feel I was being brave, food-wise. And I think it’s the motion that terrifies me; they’re easier to deal with when static! Now I have thoroughly disgusted myself. Time to go sniff the lilacs just opening in my garden.

      • Yes I saw the giant ones in Cambodia. D tried the fried frogs instead in a bag at the sake shop then got very ill. In principle insects for lunch are fine but the taboo is hard to transcend !

  2. Joan Rosasco

    Someone used ground crickets on the Great British Baking Show and Prue praised the taste and crunch. The idea makes me feel ill. But the worrying decline of insect populations makes this supposed new source of protein sound less promising.

  3. Ew. There was a buzz about this in the US but I’m not sure how much momentum it gained. Add the powder to a milkshake and don’t tell anyone? Or put in a capsule and take as a supplement…

    • I think in the US it would be done more overtly: Japan, as everyone knows, has a zany novelty side, and this was definitely one of the more eye-catching. You can imagine drunken lads out at night daredeviling each other with it -then chundering into the gutter

  4. Gregory

    I ate dried meal worms in a Korean (?) restaurant in Los Angeles. There were bowls of the on all the tables, like chips. I liked them.

    • Yes I think that once you get over the initial reluctance they can probably be ok – I think we couldn’t help passing on the baby bees piled up as snacks when we were in Seoul – something about larvae that WRITHE doesn’t tickle my taste buds – but in theory there is obviously nothing wrong with it. The whole meat industry is highly problematic in the extreme – I was a vegetarian for five years and lapsed but still have a lot of repulsion attached to it all – I don’t know what suffering crickets and other bugs undergo when killed and gathered for consumption (and does a carrot feel pain when pulled up from the soil?) but it is probably a lot less than an extremely intelligent creature like a pig.

  5. Nelleke Oepkes aka Booknose

    I have absolute arachnaphobia! So I welcome any dead specimen of this family despite their useful position in the food chain. But EATING them? Noooooooo neeeever eeeever!
    The farthest I went was letting a very tiny baby spider hang along. I called her Barbertje after a dutch proverb ‘Let’s hang Barbertje’ . But when she grew too big it was the big outdoors for her, transported in a bedecked carton.

  6. Tried fried scorpions in Hong Kong and ants in Mexico. Scorpion was tasteless, salty, and tooth shatteringly crunchy. Ants were tart and had a slight chili heat. Not sure why anyone would bother with either?

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