It probably never crossed your mind that eating termites could be beneficial to your health. As food scarcity is gaining global awareness insects have entered the menus. Insects offer a climate conscious alternative to meat. Some insects even contain greater percentage of protein than meat! Most termites contain up to 38% protein, but also iron, calcium and essential fatty acids and amino acids!
Eating termites across the globe.
The practice of eating termites is ancient. In
Cultural significance of termites in sub-Saharan Africa by Arnold van Huis mentions many different practices of eating termites. Our ancestors Australopithecus robustus ate termites by using tools to dig after termites in their mounds.
Not only that, the termites may have played a critical role in supporting the development of our large brains. The termites of the Macrotermes genus which are likely to have been consumed has significantly high amounts of nutrients.
Winged termites are a very popular snack in Africa. These are the flying termites of the reproductive cast. They emerge after the first rain following the dry season. An array of different species are on the menu, and collection methods are just as varied. Some are nocturnal and a source of light is used above a bowl of water. As they are lured into the light they fall in the water and drown. Sometimes a fire is lit by the mound to lure them out.
The termites are then prepared by frying them. They are fried without oil as they contain so much fat. Whatever oil is left from the termites is often used as cooking oil. Fried termites can be conserved for up to 7 days. If dried they last many months. Sometimes the termites are boiled, or even steamed. Others dry them and grind them into a flour and bake them into cakes. In Uganda a sauce known as Ekipooli is made from termites which have been both steamed and dried.
Eating Termites in Australia?
Indigenous communities in Australia enjoy witchetty grubs, but what about eating termites? There is not many records of Aborigines consuming termites in Australia. Records show that they did not use any utensils to cook their food. It would be very difficult to cook termites in a fire if not using a pot or a pan. You can read more about this here. Although, there are records of indigenous groups eating the termite mounds to cure diseases!
So maybe this is means that you should be the first one in Australia to try out the termite as a staple in your meal prepping?
So now, to the important bit of this post: The recipes! It is important to note that these recipes call for dehydrated termites. You can acquire them from here, here or here. Although, we have not tried to import from these businesses yet. We should definitively try to though..
Plain Roasted Termites
This recipe requires fresh flying termites. But is simple enough.
Fry termites with a pinch of salt in a pan while stirring on medium heat. When they are ready they will smell sweet.
- 2 cups of termites
- 2 cups of cooked rice
- 8 cups of water
- 1 cup of chopped carrots
- 1 cup of chopped celery
- 10 beef bouillon cubes
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Combine water, carrots, celery, onion, parsley and bouillon cubes in large pot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes. Add termites and rice. Simmer for another 10 – 15 minutes and serve.
- 500g of termites
- 2 medium onions
- 1 lemon
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1 tomato
- 1 leek
- Some water
- Salt & pepper
Preparation and cooking:
If you use fresh termites you need to wash them at least 3 times in warm water with salt and lemon juice. You want to rid them of any dust or dirt. Id you are using dehydrated termites you can wash them once in the salty lemon water to get a little flavour.
Prepare all the vegetables. In a blender blend the garlic cloves, pepper, leek and 1 1/2 onion.
Slice the other half of the onion and set aside.
Pour termites into a pan, add water so that it covers the termites and a bit more. Add salt and let simmer covered for 10 minutes. Pour in the blended vegetable mix. Add salt to taste, and 4 tablespoons of oil. Let simmer covered until all water has evaporated.
In a different pan fry the sliced onions until golden. Then mix with the termites.
Enjoy on its own or as they do in Cameroon with cassava!
For a Free Quote on Termite Barriers please contact us!
Michael is incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to termites and how to deal with them. So if you have any question just give him a call and he will do his very best to give you an accurate answer.
Phone:0447 268 257
Office: 3393 3515