Updated: May 19, 2020
BBQ Crickets - Sainsburys
What can people hear in the room when they suggest taking me out to eat burger and chips?
Forgive my bad joke. It is the truth, though.
It is said that entomophagy (human using insects as food) actually has several benefits. Humans have been eating insects for ages, but it just hasn't hit the mainstream yet. Crickets are said to contain nutrients and vitamins such as iron and Vitamin B12, and they are actually delicious.
I was very aware that Selfridges had stocked insects once upon a time but I was very surprised to see that Sainsbury's has started selling BBQ flavoured crickets. I popped into a store near my workplace one day and did a double take. I immediately dragged a packet off of the holder and dashed it into my basket, smiling from ear to ear.
So crunchy, so moreish, and so little in the packet. For £1, I expected there to be more in the packet, but I guess I don't have background into the labour that goes into preparing these critters for human consumption. Perhaps the price is completely reasonable and proportionate.
I can picture these being sprinkled on top of a summer salad or on a warming soup. Alternatively, you can just chuck the things into your mouth like I did.
Peppered Snails - Home-cooked
These taste just like they smell. I am sorry to break it to you. Don't be put off by this, though. The taste is not one-dimensional and you may actually really enjoy them.
I have only ever eaten the peppered snails that my mother has cooked. She doesn't cook them often but I distinctly remember eating them as a youth - they are the kind of things that make an impression on you. You can't quite reconcile the image of seeing the slimy things dragging their bodies on gravel and the image of them being thrown into a spicy stew on the stove as a child.
Snails (the larger kind) are extremely chewy and rubbery in texture and are very solid and opaque inside. My mother fried them and put them in a spicy tomato based sauce. They can eaten on their own as a snack or with other things.
Unfortunately, I am unable to tell you where you can purchase this dish - I know it is eaten by Nigerians but either I have never seen it on a menu in a Nigerian restaurant or I have never noticed it on there.
If you ever do get offered peppered snails, don't say 'no'. Open my mind, then open your mouth. You may be pleasantly surprised!