Jul 7, 2010
Eating insects in the Lao PDR
The video begins with a guy named Sangtong waving his net back and forth over a wheat field catching grasshoppers (dakadaeng) in a rice field. Santong comes from Ban Tat Luang which is just out past the famous stupa of that name. His wife dips them in boiling water to kill and clean them then fries them in the wok and sells them.
The next shot is of women digging in the earth for maeng jute jill or as I less delicately call them “maeng kii kwai” (buffalo dung beetles). The voice over and the scientists go on to explain that 40% of children in Laos are malnourished, or I think that’s what sahmhua means.
The last series of scenes are an interview with a woman who is growing wingless crickets (maeng jii law) and regular crickets (maeng jii nai) I think the wingless version is just the imature stage of the cricket. The woman in the clip started out with 3 barrels but is now up to 56, quite a little growing operation. Now she’s trying to grow grasshoppers commercially.
There is one shot of a woman cooking up bamboo shoot soup with crickets, a very common use of the insect that can be found in restaurant stands all over the country. Lastly some folks that have had a few beers eating deep fried crickets with beer which is kind of yummy. Guy says they taste like meat, which of course they are.