Insects and crustaceans are close relatives in terms of biological taxonomy. Chowhounds unfamiliar with the taste of bugs wonder: Do bugs taste like lobsters?
Not really, says 1sweetpea, who has enjoyed beetles, crickets, and grasshoppers. For one thing, insects have tiny bodies and there’s not much meat. They’re also usually deep-fried and salted. It’s hard to discern much individual flavor; mostly what you experience is the crunchy texture. “I have only tasted a few different bugs and, in my experience, all were deep-fried and seasoned with salt, soy sauce, or fish sauce. All had a taste reminiscent of salty potato chips,” says 1sweetpea. Insects also lack the “flavour of the sea” that crustaceans have, adds moh. Their appeal is the crunchiness and saltiness provided by the deep-frying and seasoning, similar to the appeal of salty nuts or pretzels with beer.
“I find eating roasted grasshoppers (chapulines) to be a lot like eating tasty (and somehow slightly juicy) succulent pumpkin seeds—really addictive, and great with beer,” says another_adam. Tsar_Pushka has eaten fried tarantulas in Cambodia. “They don’t taste like shrimp,” he says. “They taste somewhat earthy and dusty, and vaguely sweet (not sure if that was natural sweetness or added sugar). I think the appeal is more about the texture, which ranges from crispy legs to chewy body.”
Board Link: Do insects taste like crustaceans?