This time of year it’s usually the bugs that are biting and not the other way around. But this weekend at Prague Zoo’s annual Day of Insectivores, visitors can munch their way through a menu of caramelized, sweetened, and salty creepy crawlies.
Taking place from July 20-21, the program is focused not only on experiencing the wonders of entomophagy (the human use of insects as food) but also discovering animals that consume insects as a part of their regular diet.
To that end, catch a special commented feeding of the European Aardvark in the African House on both days, with mealworms on the menu. Other insectivores on view in the Education Center until 3 pm include the Gecko Leopard, White-bellied Hedgehog, and Tarantula. Visitors will be able to see what they eat and how they are fed.
Adventurous eaters will also be able to eat like insectivores do, sampling honeyed cockroaches, sesame crickets, and caramelized locusts. Try insect canapes and take home bugged-out recipes from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday all at the Zoo’s Education Center.
Insects are commonly eaten in Africa, Southeast Asia, and northern Latin America. Valued for their high-quality proteins, healthy fats, and reproductive capacity, the practice of eating insects is currently in its infancy in the Czech Republic, though in recent years bread made from cricket flour has entered the local market.
There are currently over 1,400 species of known edible insects. In Mexico, for instance, after beef and beans, they are considered a third “national” food.