Eating meat of a fly, dragonfly and other flying insects, dishes from flies, dragonflies and other flying insects. Extreme cuisine.

According to dragonfly fans, these are wonderful creatures that appeared on Earth earlier than dinosaurs. Their incomparable beauty makes even those who catch them in their nets, then to eat, cry out with delight. Ordinary flies, on the other hand, have not earned a good word from a person, nor hunting nets, and are forced to content themselves with curses, smelly sprays hanging from the ceiling with sticky strips of paper and fly swatter from a newspaper rolled into a tube. 

Eating meat of a fly, dragonfly and other flying insects, dishes from flies, dragonflies and other flying insects. Extreme cuisine.

Meanwhile, both of them are equally edible both in larval and in adult state. Mushroom larvae? These … how are they … maggots? Alas, that’s it. And in vain they defame them. The high protein content makes fly larvae a particularly valuable product where there is a shortage of more traditional protein sources..

, who have to become food, it is better to get away from the human home. In order not to use pesticides and other harmful substances associated with human civilization at the same time.

There are many stories of eating flies for food, and most relate to the life of primitive peoples who once inhabited the underdeveloped regions of the world. So, snipe flies often lay eggs on vegetation overhanging a water stream. Soon after, the females die. As eggs are laid, so does the mass of dead insects. At some point, the Modoc Indians who lived in California blocked the stream with a dam and shook dead flies from the bushes into the water. Flies accumulated at the hastily built dam, where the Indians collected them.

Thus, it was possible to collect up to hundreds of bushels per day, ”writes the author of the book Insects: Reality and Fiction. – The Indians caught flies from the water in baskets and carried them in baskets to cooking stoves.

Cooked flies were not immediately taken out of the oven, but allowed to cool. The Indians called this dish kuchabbi. The cooled mass of baked flies is comparable in density to a brawn and could be cut with a knife.

Modo Indians have long been gone, but in tropical Africa, to this day, they feast on mayonnaise, and in Mexico they catch fly flies for food. The potential of such insects as food for humans is being studied today by entomologists at several American and European universities. Serious studies have been conducted regarding the use of lion fly larvae as a source of feed protein for livestock. Entomologist Craig Sheppard of the University of Georgia believes that waste from large commercial poultry farms (with a livestock of at least 100 thousand birds) sown with lion eggs will produce a crop of 66 tons of feed larvae in five months.

Eggs can be cooked, dried and mixed with regular feed. The same technique of cooking larvae is also suitable for humans, even larvae developing in rotting meat. The meat is placed in a box with holes in the lower corners. Tanks for collecting larvae are placed under them. The larvae themselves will crawl to the holes and fall into the tank. The collected larvae should be washed in cool water before cooking. You can fry them in oil with vegetables and add to fried rice with onions and chili, or cook soup or stew with them, or fry them without any additives over an open fire or grill.

Gadflies live near the Arctic Circle. They lay their eggs on the backs of Canadian reindeer. The larva which has left the egg penetrates for nutrition under the skin of the animal; with an increase in its size, a tumor resembling a boil gradually forms on the body of a deer. When the larva fully grows, it goes to the surface of the skin and falls to the ground, where it turns into an adult insect. Dogribe Indians, who lived in northern Canada and bred deer as pack animals and for meat, knew about this feature of larvae and, squeezing the largest, ate them alive. When an adult deer was killed, the larvae were left under the skin and cooked with meat.

Larvae of flying insects are also eaten in Africa, both living and dead, when it is discovered that they killed a large animal. A common dish in Asia is fried rice with larvae of flies (a kind of hodgepodge). A dish is prepared from the remnants of cooked rice, roasted larvae, finely chopped garlic and sliced ​​pepper, seasoned with fish and soy sauce, sugar, shallots, onion and potato coriander. In his letter to the editors of the Bulletin Edible Insects, Dr. Ed Dresner told how during the expedition to Hawaii he had a chance to eat the larvae of the eastern fruit fly.

Most of my companions and I were happy to absorb fruits, not paying attention to the presence of larvae in them. In my opinion, worms make fruits less acidic.

And Tom MacRae, a former research director of the Department of Entomology at the University of Queensland Australia, wrote to me that adult fruit flies are easy to breed, and therefore they can be considered an excellent, plentiful source of protein. He advised killing the flies by freezing, then washing, drying and cooking them in a saucepan with finely chopped onions, butter and a pinch of ground ginger. The larvae of the fly, which are usually sold as pet food, are also inexpensive: only $ 5 for 500 pieces when sent by mail and $ 7.5 for 1000 with delivery alive directly to your home.

If larvae can be easily collected, catching adult flies is more difficult. Today, their wingless varieties are mainly sold, most often in pet stores as reptile food. It is no less difficult to catch dragonflies, but they are highly valued. The life of these insects begins under water, where they attach to the stems of the reed and feed on the simplest animal organisms, as well as tadpoles and even small fish. After a year, the larva rises along the stem of the plant to the surface of the water, dries, and legs and wings form in it. It will take from two to five hours, and the dragonfly will already rise into the air and will actively search for food. She catches prey on the fly and eats up to 300 mosquitoes and other small insects per day.

Usually dragonflies are caught with netting. But some hunters, using the habit of dragonflies to sit on the tip of a twig or stalk, smear the end of the rod with sticky substance and catch them just like they catch flies on sticky paper. This is exactly how hunters from the island of Bali act, where dragonflies are considered a treat. Caught insects, tearing off their legs and wings, knead together with coconut paste, paste from fermented fish, garlic, chili, tamarind juice, basil leaves, ginger and lime juice.

The resulting mass is wrapped in portions in banana leaves. It turns out a popular dish known as pepes. Some dragonfly hunters grow larvae at home in an aquarium. In the distant past, the wingspan of dragonflies was the same as that of a modern hawk or large crow, but representatives of today’s 5,000 species are much smaller, and one or two dragonflies are clearly not enough to satisfy hunger.

Based on the book Extreme Cuisine.
Jerry Hopkins.

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