Cooking with Arthropods: A Thanksgiving Special

Have you ever looked at a tarantula and thought, man, Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be complete without that on the table? …Yeah me neither but I put a recipe for it down below anyway. Thanks to @elenatrn for posting this neat photo on Unsplash!

I think we’re all aware by now that the first Thanksgiving didn’t exactly go down the way we were taught in school. In fact, we’ve even been lied to about the food that was eaten: for example, the main dish wasn’t actually turkey but rather goose or duck. The pilgrims and Wampanoag present also would have eaten venison, pigeon meat, a variety of nuts and vegetables, clams, and who would have guessed it: lobster.

Yes, that iconic crustacean that every other arthropod should apparently be named after was at the very first Thanksgiving. What a fabulous shellfish. I know what I’m adding to my Thanksgiving dinner menu.

And that brings me to the topic of today’s post: arthropod recipes! Here on The ArthroBlogger, we love our arthropods and we love to eat them, too! I’ll admit, the only arthropod I’ve ever had a taste for was shrimp, but I’m willing to try new things, so here are five arthropodan recipes to add to your Thanksgiving meals… if you’re brave enough.

That’s right, I see you turning up your nose at the thought of eating bugs. For shame.

1. Cricket Caramel Cheesecake

This one sounds like a great starting point for getting used to eating bugs, since it involves cricket powder that could easily be mistaken for cinnamon or orange cake mix and distinguished from the living insect. Even if you can’t get over the sight of the candied cricket toppings and need to exclude them from the recipe, the powder is nicely hidden in a fresh-baked crust, so you can totally forget what you’re eating and just enjoy the taste! As with all these recipes, however, it’s still nice to let your friends know the secret ingredient before they take a bite.

2. Mealworm French Fries

Come on, they literally have “meal” in the name, they were made to be eaten! This one’s a fun recipe because you get to make your own fries, which I have never done but would love to try. It’s also a picky-eater-friendly side, since the worms aren’t baked into the fries and your squeamish friends can just eat around them. Everyone wins, insect eaters and fry lovers alike!

3. Deviled Crab Stuffing

If you’re looking to add some arthropods to your Thanksgiving meal but aren’t too keen on servings bugs to your guests, try this beachy twist on stuffing! You’ll be eating seafood to be true to the coastal setting of the first Thanksgiving, and you won’t have to break it to your friends that they’re eating grasshoppers or something.

4. Deep Fried Tarantula

Okay, so this one didn’t get the best reviews, but if you’re willing to try it I’ll give you two thumbs up and a pat on the back: you’re braver than I am. Honestly though, if you can forget it’s a spider, the picture didn’t look half bad. Maybe I will have to give this one a shot someday.

5. Pumpkin Soup with Creole Lobster

This recipe is a bit complicated, but I can’t think of any better Thanksgiving dish than one that combines pumpkins and lobsters. What a legendary course. It does take a long time to prepare so you’ll want to make sure to start the process early in the day, but the combination of all the seasonings and spices that enrich the lobster and pumpkin makes this soup sound totally worth it. My one request is that you put the lobsters out of their misery before dumping them in the pot to boil, as they do not enjoy being cooked alive and would prefer a more humane death. See how to do so here, it’s not very time consuming. The crab recipe seemed to imply that you would buy the crab meat already prepared, but if you’re catching your own crabs please treat them with respect as well.

Those are just a few recipes, but I would encourage you to do some internet surfing and cookbook scouring of your own! There are plenty of ways to (humanely) turn arthropods into fantastic dishes, sides and appetizers.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! While you’re chowing down on turkey and lobster this year, take some time to ponder how thankful we ought to be for our many arthropod pals and platters. Whether they’re pollinating our corn or fried and served beside it, these little critters play many an important role in our ecosystems, agriculture, and continual wonder as the intricate handiwork of our awesome God.

4 Comments on “Cooking with Arthropods: A Thanksgiving Special

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