..totally amazing, had those in an asian country, found them on a local market, sold on banana leaves, raw. The locals cook them in some recipe, I just had them raw, just like that, and that became one of my favourite food Unfortunately difficult to find, very seasonal (only 1 or 2 month/ year in the area I was), not that cheap. I'm quite sure this stuff is not for everyone, the eggs, coming from big ants, taste a bit like brie or something haha, something I miss as I don't eat dairy.
You've maybe heard fruitarians travelling the world just to get to their durian source, well I might consider do the same to follow the season of the ant eggs trail LOL... Well not really, but as a non meat- fish- or dairy eater and a ravenous former vegan/fruitarian I crave other things than "fibre" foods. Ant eggs are great, quite fatty, not that dense, they're really juicy.
I find it very easy to encourage ant nests. I keep rotting chucks of wood around in the garden and once they're full of an ant nest I bring the chunk over to the chickens. They certainly relish the eggs. Also, any big rock eventually gets an ant nest under it so I will flip them over and call the chickens over.
I wonder how you could encourage the bigger ants. The smaller ones do seem to have eggs that are bigger than the adults. Certainly it would be tricky to harvest them without being bitten all over by ant soldiers.
I saw a trick once that used the ant themselves to harvest the eggs. I can't find a youtube video of it unfortunately.
Lay a big tarp down on the ground next to a nest.
Shovel the ant hill material on to the sheet and spread it out pretty thinly.
The ants will frantically gather up the eggs to return to the colony site, leaving all the scraps of woody material behind.
Sweep off the detritus and repeat the process, spreading the egg rich material back out over the sheet.
Moderator, Treatment Free Beekeepers group on Facebook.
posted 3 years ago
I think there are many types of ants, living in different habitat. In Thailand, I hear that some of the big ants live in trees, and harvesting the eggs can be painful. (I think they use a very long stick to get to the nest, and ants fall down on them).
I hear in Colombia they eat ants in the cinemas, instead of popcorn, apparently it's quite big there. I've tasted giant toasted ants once, and they are not my thing, not really bad, but not satisfying, and with quite a dodgy taste. On the other hand, I have sampled, directly in nature, bid red ants in Asia, and on hot days, they can be quite refreshing, as they taste acidic, a bit like a lime/lemon. I even hear that a danish company called "Nordic Food Lab" was thinking about creating a sort of lollipop with different spices and insects, and one was called the "chimp stick", where one of the ingredients are "lemony" ants.
But the eggs are something special, and I've heard about some french cook in California, in some trendy restaurant, who had to smuggle them from Mexico (called there "escamoles"), and had to have special contacts and connections just to buy them at some very high price. In Asia it's a bit easier and cheaper I think...
And yeah, would be great to find a way to harvest those ant eggs!
Another source of fat are waxworms, and those I hear can be quite easy to "produce". They are a pest invading some bee-hives, and live on honey. I have tried those as well, and they are a also very satisfying (read: full of fat), and, if the waxies have just been eating, they taste of honey as well. And they don't bite, and you can eat them whole (with grasshoppers for instance you need to remove wings, legs and sometimes the head), they are just smooth and soft and tasty. Mealworms are now quite trendy to eat, but honestly not good in my opinion.
Talking about worms... I've heard about some crazy dish they eat in Sardinia, Italy: it's a cheese, called cazu marzu, full of live larvae of the cheese fly. You can only buy on the black market. You are supposed to eat the cheese with the live grubs, but there's a bit of a problem: they can leap 15 cm, so you need to cover the bread and cheese with your hand while bringing to your mouth... Or alternatively, put the cheese in a paper bag, and close it to suffocate the grubs, and as the jump and bump against the bag to try to escape, they make this popping noise, and which will eventually stop.