We use almost every animal meat and green plant in the culinary world to enhance taste and flavor.
Every day a professional chef tries to discover new ways to incorporate new recipes to create the perfect dish. Among all these, crawls a new ingredient based on edible ants.
Yes, you read it right. Ants are a new addition to the culinary world. They may be small in size, but they are full of flavors. They are also tasty, and crunch for a bite packed full of exciting flavor.
You may be wondering what do ants taste like? They have a tangy kind of taste to them.
What are Ants?
Ants are tiny insects that walk in a line like a military marching band. On the smell of anything sweet, they are present to take a bite of it. They even reach your picnic basket before you take a bite of your picnic lunch.
Ants are present everywhere. But not all ants are edible. In fact, there are more than 12,000 species of ants available in the world, and a handful of them are edible.
The simplest way to recognize ants is to eat ants that are red in color usually, but that doesn’t mean that you can consume only red ants. You can eat ants that are native to their places by researching about them online.
Along with ants, the larvae are also commonly consumed by people who prefer to eat ants.
What Do Ants Taste Like? Do Ants Taste Good?
Almost all parts of African and Asian countries use ants in many of their cooking recipes. It may be a new or trendy thing in European countries and America, but Africans and Asians have been eating it for centuries.
Ants are rich in protein, and they regard ants as a superfood that gives you a lot of energy. National Geographic advises people to eat ants and other bugs because they are efficient in protecting the environment.
It claims that 100 grams of edible ants provide more proteins than a whole egg. Now that’s the kind of calories you need to put on your plate.
But to get started on eating plants may be a difficult step. Worry not. Ants do not taste ‘icky’ or have a ‘mothy’ flavor. In fact, they taste the total opposite.
It is almost like eating a crunchy and zesty orange with the zest lower than that of a lime. But, that’s only the usual taste. The taste of an ant differs according to the type of edible ants.
- Honeypot Ants- They taste like sweet nectar.
- Leafcutter Ants- They taste like bacon.
- Lemon Ants- They taste like lemon, as their name suggests.
- Flying Ants- They taste like pork rinds seasoned with butter.
A study conducted in Kenya about the black ants found in the region from Lake Victoria concluded that not only were the ants edible, but they were high in nutritional value.
They consisted of more than 40% of protein and around 45% of fat that helps cure chronic diseases.
How to Prepare and Use Edible Ants in Recipes
Ants are either eaten raw, pickled, salted, cooked, fried and in every other way, you can imagine.
Granted, it might be a bit frightening to try out ants for the first time in your life, but you are doing a favor for the environment. How?
Along with ants, you are ridding the natural plants of insects and pests by consuming them.
There won’t be any need for pesticides and strong chemicals, which may, in fact, harm the environment more and cause health problems to our body.
Usually, you can eat ants raw, which is the best form to take all its nutrients organically.
But, if you are a first-time eater, we recommend you to try this healthy recipe called ‘Chapra’ from Chattisgarh, India, made from red ants and their eggs.
You will only need to make a fine paste out of the ants and a few ingredients, which you can use as a dipping sauce or as an ingredient for marinating other meat. You can get the full recipe here.
Along with that, you can also try a famous Cambodian red tree ant’s dish. The main ingredients are ants and lemongrass, which goes along very well when you incorporate ants in your recipes. You can get the cooking method from here.
Before you proceed to try any ants recipe, please ensure that you are not allergic to it.
There are so many health benefits of eating ants and their eggs. They are nutritional, tasty, and benefit both humans and the environment.
In a world where it is becoming increasingly difficult to receive proteins from livestock, eating ants and other insects helps us get suitable protein.
We hope that this post will help you in trying out ants for a sustainable environment.