More than half the time we consider termites as pests. Considering the gargantuan damage they cause humanity every time, it is of no doubt that they will be considered as pests. Although, we are aware that they are vital in the entire ecological balance, we are still inclined to think that they do more damage and nuisance to us rather than being helpful of a species. But did you know that in some parts of the world, they have a different value system towards termites? Yes they do, and you will be surprised to know that they contribute a lot in the aesthetics of their food culture. Believe it or not, they are actually considered as delectable delicacy in a country.
In Africa, the queen termite (mother of a termite colony and usually relatively larger in size) is actually a crucial ingredient of a very popular delicacy. In layman, it is called the queen termite dish. And truthfully speaking, it is dubbed as quite a favorite delicacy in their place and it does have nutritional value. However, it's not something you would plan to eat for your entire life unless of course if it is in your culture not to consider such delicacy as exotic but rather native and common. But then of course, you would want to try out new exciting things every once in a while especially when it comes viands and dishes and this might just be the thing for you to try. It may be quite possible even that after you have tasted this African delicacy, you won't dare try it again, yet of course, that completely depends on your sense of taste as there are always some people who would find the relativity of the idea of what is delicious and what's not. You may be able improvise the dish to your preferences, but in the African way, the dish is as straightforward as it goes. Here are some guidelines on how to prepare this African termite dish just in case you find the heart to try it out.
Just a disclaimer though, the idea here is that the food is an exotic dish and it doesn't necessarily warrant a universal appreciation to anyone. Essentially the point here is for you to try it out by your own free will.
Instructions on How to Make Your Own Termite Dish:
1. The first step is actually the most difficult part of the process wherein you will have to harvest the queen termites from their colony. You have to make sure as well that you are able to identify a queen termite from the rest of the member of the colony. Another difficult part of this task is that you would really have to scour over a colony of termites, which could probably be comprised of hundreds of thousands of termites, in order to find their queen. If it helps though, here's a tip: Queen Termites are usually in the deepest chambers as a termite colony would instinctively place their queen on those areas to conceal and protect them from any foreign entity that might prey on it. You have to be aware as well the termite mounds or mud castles are also home to many of the world's most poisonous and venomous creatures such as snakes, and bugs and they could bite you off when you begin to place your hand inside the mound. It would be wise to seek professional assistance first or have them do the job for you. If possible, just make sure that they are already extracted from the mound and don't dare do things all by yourself. To some point, the mounds may even have to be destroyed first to extract the queen and most likely you may not be gauged up with that kind of challenge.
2. Ask for assistance from African villagers and make sure they have the necessary tools with them. Most likely, after you have gone through or at least witnessed the experience of taking down a termite hill, you may never ever think of doing the same thing again ever in your life. The entire experience may be quite revolting and therefore you must really prepare yourself for it, physically and mentally.
3. Oh, was it mentioned that they do fight back as well. Yes, they do fight back and they can be deadly serious about stopping you from destroying their home. And we're not talking about small fry termites that you see a lot in the wooden parts of your home but their might large termites than the ordinary ones. You may have to expect an entire horde of termites dashing towards you and chew on your flesh until you sore out from bleeding. Like what was said earlier, they are dead serious about keeping that colony intact.
4. Continue hacking and pounding through the mud/rock hill of termites until you reach the bottom of it. From there you will then find your pot of gold, a pulsing queen termite. You can identify her by noticing her big abdomen which is about the size of two fists put together (you can probably visualize now how big they are). Immediately take her out while her entire army is still at you.
5. After you have extracted their precious queen, go and cook right away on a pan of scalding oil and wait until it turns golden brown. By then you will know that the fruit of your labor is already good to eat. Of course you can always choose to eat this all by yourself granted that the villagers you employed to take the down the bug-a-bug hill won't turn sour and hack you as well for not sharing "your" fruit of labor. If you decided to share your blessings, you may have to prepare yourself of the eventual small amount of ration as the main dish would have to be minced into 20 different parts. Just think of it as a noteworthy experience that you won't dare experience all over again.