Every few months, someone decides to write an edible-insect story, mostly for the cheap shock value. But a recent Reuters piece deserves credit for actually making its subject—crickets—sound kinda… good.

‘The taste is very particular, very special and it smells good and tastes delicious but it is very difficult to compare cricket to other meat,’ said [insect dealer Le Thanh Tung], 28, suggesting that crickets are an acquired taste.

The premise of the article is that once you’ve deep-fried a barrel of bugs, they make perfect finger food for drinkers—in Vietnam, at least. But will fried bugs catch on in the States? As long as we’ve got SunChips, Beer Nuts, and a relatively healthy national economy, probably not. (That should put fried bugs on the menu at your local tavern by sometime around mid-2007.)

In defense of cricket skeptics, there is very little that can’t be deep-fried and fed to drunk people. In defense of cricket partisans: Isn’t it time that serious chefs and chowhands got acquainted with a whole new class of edible life forms? How often does that opportunity present itself?

See more articles