Honey Spiced Locusts

“Hizdahr had stocked their box with flagons of chilled wine and sweetwater, with figs, dates, melons, and pomegranates, with pecans and peppers and a big bowl of honeyed locusts. Strong Belwas bellowed, “Locusts!” as he seized the bowl and began to crunch them by the handful.” (Dance with Dragons)

Our Thoughts:

The things we do for food…

As soon as we read the description of honey-spiced locusts in Dance, we knew we had to rise to the challenge.

This Volantene recipe results in a sweet & spicy, super crunchy snack that is surprisingly good. It takes a bit of psychological adjustment to get over the idea of eating bugs, but the novelty and brag-factor makes it well worth the effort. Underlying the more familiar tastes of honey and spice is the real flavor of the crickets- a sort of smoky nuttiness that takes several bites to savor.

We dared to try it. Do you?

Honey-spiced Locusts

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup cleaned insects (we used freeze dried crickets from Amazon)
  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • 1 tsp. Aleppo pepper, mixed in with the honey
Melt your butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the insects and and salt and stir gently for around 10 minutes, making sure to get them completely covered in butter.
When the bugs are suitably crisped, drizzle the spice-honey over them and stir a bit more. Then spread them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and cook for around 10 minutes at 200 F, until the bugs are no longer quite so sticky.

Leave a Reply

  1. I’ve eaten larvae and wood maggots before… they’ve got a woody flavor… not sure if I could do crickets or locust… might just have to look up prices for this recipe….

    • Locusts are a phase of the grasshopper’s life cycle. When conditions are just right, the grasshoppers metamorphose into locusts and fly around in huge swarms, eating everything in sight.

  2. I can’t do anything even a little “spicy”, so I think I’m gonna try this recipe using Cinnamon instead of the Aleppo pepper. It will have that strong “spiced” flavor, I hope, but won’t be “spicy” so I can eat it! Plus, a lot of people say cinnamon is “hot” in quantity, so I figure that still works within the description of the books. Haha

    • Ok, my curiousity got to me. I researched Manderly’s pies and found nothing toward about them…is there something strange about them that I didn’t find?

    • Two reasons: First, we could order dried crickets from Amazon. Second, I wanted a one-bite bug, figuring it would be easier to psych friends into eating than one that takes two. :)

  3. Good on you for being brave enough to try the insects, but you do realise historical/biblical descriptions of people eating “honey and locust” refers to the sweet pulp and beans of the locust tree, not actually bugs?

    • I believe carob is the more common name of the locust tree (and pretty common, lots of people use carob like chocolate). But I haven’t read the books that far yet, and the snippet posted above sounds more like the insects (crunchy, etc) than carob pods would (I imagine, since I’ve never cooked the whole pod).

  4. I have been trying to find food-quality grasshoppers/crickets/locusts for years! I take it these worked without a problem in spite of being intended for snakes? (I’ve had a snake and am well aware that his standards for cleanliness were not mine.)

    True fact: Jumping bugs are specifically kosher according to the Torah, largely because if you have locusts you probably don’t have anything else to eat. A friend who keeps stricter kosher than me said he would eat them if I did. He didn’t know me very well. But we had trouble finding them.

  5. I am so relieved to hear that they sell freeze dried crickets. I didn’t have the guts to go down to the local bait shop and start with live ones (ewww)!

  6. Since I know my grandfathers ate locusts this doesn’t really scare me… but I’m more scared at the fact Amazon sells locusts!

  7. Jiminy! Jiminy! SPEAK to me.

    Alas.

    Just a thought: I know you didn’t have to deal with it because of purchasing frozen ones, but what exactly is implied by “cleaned” in the recipe? Suppose I get my crickets in the wild (what calibre do you suggests)? How do I clean them?

  8. …but how do you prepare the locusts? If you put them in the pan while alive, they’ll hop out, and if they are dead when you receive them, how can you be sure they are safe to eat?