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Friday, April 24, 2009

My first time…

"I’ll try anything and everything at least once, and if I like it I’ll do it again.”

Such is my philosophy in life, most especially when it comes to food. And today, I got to try something for the very first time, and I’m very happy about it.

I remember, as a kid, playing with an insect that we (my cousins and myself) called “suksok lupa” (earth borer). It’s about an inch long (though, according to Wikipedia it can grow up to 2 inches long), primarily brown-colored, and very powerful.

Young as I was at the time, I remember not being able to keep one in my hand no matter how tightly I held on to it. It somehow always manages to dig its way out of my hand. It has these powerful forelimbs which it uses as sort of anchors to pull its body through tight spaces (in this case, my clenched hand).

I never bothered finding out what it’s really called, and so I grew up knowing the insect by the name we called it (“suksok lupa”).

Today, at the office, my boss asked us one by one if we eat insects. Thinking that he just had an altercation with someone, I just smiled at him and took him for joking.

Turns out, he was serious. He brought out his baon (packed lunch) and showed us the dead bugs with tomatoes and onions, all turned brown with soy sauce. Adobong Kamaru, he said it was called. My mind, however, was yelling “Suksok lupa!”

I’ve heard so much about insects being served on the dining table just as I’ve seen so many videos about it (especially on documentaries and on Fear Factor). But contrary to the usual reaction that many people get with this sort of thing, I always find myself wanting very much to try it, with my mouth watering.

“This is my chance!” I thought to myself.

Excited, I asked him if I can taste it. “That’s why I brought it,” he said “I wanted you guys to taste it.”

I suppose he wanted to assure us that it’s safe, he picked up a couple with his fingers, put them in his mouth and chewed.

Without a moment’s thought, I followed.

Most of you probably won’t believe me but it was Y-U-M-M-Y! It’s WONDERFUL!!! It tasted like kilawin, actually (to me, at least).

For the purpose of blogging about it, I did a quick research on the proper name of the bug.

Using “kamaru” as the keyword in my search (on Google), at first, didn’t get me anything pertaining to the insect. I didn’t try “suksok lupa” as I was sure it’s not going to do me any good (well, I tried it just now and I was right). And so, I added the word “Kapampangan” and… voila!

Mole Cricket… that’s how they’re called in English (if you’ll ask me, I think they look more like tiny lobsters than crickets).

This experience surely has changed the way I look at and think of these bugs…

As they say in Kapampangan…

Subukan mu at ng kanyaman! (“Try it, it’s delicious!”)

Note: If you want to try it, this is the styro that the yummy treat came in... hope the contact information is legible.


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