Local Food

The Best Traditional Insect-Based Foods Worth Trying

Most people in the western world would most likely turn green at the sight of a few insects on their dinner place, but in many other parts of the world, insects are a cheap and healthy source of protein, vitamins, and minerals.

And unlike cows, insects are easier to raise, and are made up of much more protein than beef, with none of the drawbacks typically associated with red meat consumption.

Insects are becoming more popular around the world, and some believe that we will one day have to start relying on insects as commercial livestock agriculture continues to become unsustainable.

Let’s take a look at some of the best insect-based foods that will appeal to travellers wanting to try something different.


Escamoles is a traditional Mexican dish that consists of ant larvae, and is generally served with onions, butter, as well as a bit of chilli. The ant that they use to make the dish is the velvety tree ant, and it’s a dish that dates back to the Aztecs.

It’s typically served within omelettes or in tacos, although it can be served straight and is paired with guacamole and tortillas.


A popular and classic street food found in South Korea; this is made of silkworm pupae. The insects are either steamed or boiled before they are served alongside seasoning in small cups. It’s considered as something of an acquired taste, although it’s among one of the most believed street foods in many parts of the country, and sometimes even possible to find it being sold at the supermarkets.

It’s even fairly common to find the insects being sold as a side dish at restaurants, and originally gained its popularity as a protein-rich alternative during the Korean War.


Moving over to Africa, specifically the country of Uganda, where the extremely popular dish named nsenene is a favourite among the locals. Made from the local grasshoppers, which locals pluck, wash, and then fry, with a bit of flavouring from onion and salt.


The grasshoppers are also sometimes boiled or dried in the sun or can be consumed straight on their own or as a complementary side dish to other foods. They are usually caught in November, and are packed with plenty of fibre, healthy fats, as well as lots of protein.

Rod Duan

This dish, found in the Southeast Asian country of Thailand, is made from bamboo caterpillars, which are harvested from bamboo trees which they themselves live in and eat.

The caterpillars are often deep fried in oil, after which they become incredibly crunchy and something of a delicacy, perfect to snack on when gambling online in Canada. The fried caterpillars are frequently compared to fried potato chips and will also often be cooked with chilli oil to give them a bite.

The dish can be found being served as a street food and is popular within the bigger cities in the country.

A few other dishes that are worth trying include malang tod, hon mhai, chicatanas, and ahuatle, among many others.