One of the nice things about writing this column is that I routinely get recommendations and links from friends and fans. One of the terrible things about that is that it is hard to say no when someone takes the time and effort to send something along.  So I eat more bugs.

A friend of mine sent me a link to Thailand Unique, specifically to the assorted bag of bugs, but this site is like a wonderland, or a horror show, depending on your point of view.

I went for the bag of edible bugs. For a whopping $10, including shipping, how could I refuse? A couple of weeks later my order, plus a free bonus bag of bugs, arrived and it was time to try it.

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I opened the bag and dumped the contents to get a look at what I had going on.

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Turns out it was a big bag of dessicated bugs. Just like it said on the bag, oddly enough. I laid them out to ensure I had one of each bug ready to sample.

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Looks yummy, doesn’t it? OK time to dig in: I went for my old friend the silkworm pupae right away. Even dried and salted, they still had a lot of the strong, gamey funk to them that was so off-putting about their liquid-filled brethren.

I’m pretty sure the the next thing I ate was a bamboo worm. It wasn’t bad. There was an almost smokey flavor to it; it had a decent texture as well, although it was dry. The salt-to-bug ratio was right on.

I think the next one was a waterbug. It also had some of the same smokey flavor which i’m guessing was a part of the drying process perhaps. Not a bad bug but the carapace was really hard, so it made it tough to swallow.

My old friend cricket was next. As before, it was just really dry and powdery, and had almost no flavor. They practically disintegrate when you bite into them, which leaves a salty dry powder on your tongue. It’s quite an unpleasant texture.

Last, but not least, was a sizable grasshopper.

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It was much bigger than the fresh warm grasshoppers I ate a few months back. This guy was really all crunch. While the crunch was satisfying, it suffered from Dried Cricket Syndrome; there just isn’t enough moisture in them to handle the dehydration process.

All in all I think this is my last pass at dried bugs. Outside of the silkworm pupae, none of them are actively bad, but none of them are good enough to keep around the house. The bamboo worm was the best of the bunch, but even that wasn’t what I would call delicious. I will certainly be looking for more opportunities to try bugs in other forms, but I’m willing to give dried bugs a big “You Don’t Have to” across the board.

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