Japanese Wasp Crackers - made with Real Wasps
I've had the pleasure of traveling in Japan and I've enjoyed a great variety of foods along the way. One of the nice things about Japan is that each region likes to distinguish themselves by promoting signature foods or drinks. In northern Akita prefecture they have deliciously sweet, milky sake. In Hakone near Mount Fuji I boiled eggs in sulphurous boiling volcanic ponds and in the seaside town of Miyako a fresh sea urchin was served for dinner one night... the spines of which were still waving about after I had eaten every tasty morsel within. So you see, I'm not the squeamish type - but that doesn't mean I'll eat anything, and I draw the line at these horrific Digger Wasp Rice Crackers made and distributed by a "wasp fan club" in the Japanese town of Omachi.
Right of the bat, I'm confused. This is a "fan club" for wasps?? Who would join... and why?? Moving on, if these loyal and appreciative wasp fans cherish the winged beasties so, why bake them into crackers of all things? Moving even further onward, members then irritate & annoy passersby by giving out - attempting to give out, that is - samples of the revolting fare. Any takers, do you think?
Let's ask Torao Kayatsu, president of the Omachi digger wasp lovers club, what the reaction has been... my guess is, "allergic". Torao? "Young people see the bugs and refuse to eat the senbei (crackers)." Out of the mouths of babes... TK goes on to say "But seniors, they love them. We even have an order from a nursing home." Nice... preying on the senile. Sad to say, but some of the nursing home residents I've seen wouldn't know a wasp if one stung them repeatedly on the keester!
When asked what they taste like, TK replied "It's hard to explain, you really just have to taste it yourself." Nice try, Torao, but I'm still not buying - even if they are free. Since you're not likely to see Digger Wasp Rice Crackers in your local supermarket any time soon - or not so soon - the flavor is said to be "slightly more oily than the soy-sauce flavored traditional ones." Which begs the question: if you need an oilier taste, why not just add oil? (via Reuters, Yahoo News)
Japanese Innovations Writer
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