On a Tuesday morning, my postman and I discovered a quick, water-free way to wake your eyes from the heavy hanging feeling of a weekday morning. When some 100 waxworms arrived in a small tub, we acknowledged that the day was too early for such a strange exchange.
A waxworm is not much more than 2cm long, ivory in colour, and it has the unappetising look of a maggot. Nevertheless, I had a lot of hope for this insect. As a worm, I imagined a fleshy push biting into them. My instincts told me that frittering would not work with this one. So, with the meatiness of them stuck in my head I planned for the same sort of dish as that you would use with a prawn. Stir-fry, South-East Asian style.
As the waxworms thawed, instead of fleshy prawn-like meat, the worms seemed to empty as if all they ever are is a sack of skin. Time for boiling to invigorate the tiny beasts!! But not so, forgetting that a good rule of thumb is to boil an insect before cooking them in which what way after.
Tonights’ guests were my good friend Dom, and my girlfriend Luna. I am starting to notice that people prefer cooking insects more than they do other foods, but they are not so keen to eat it as other foods. Maybe that is where the business should be: insect cooking lessons!!
We settled for frying the waxworms in butter. To my delight the worms grew fatter and longer as they heated. Maybe the grubs just needed to be eaten at 200 degrees.
With our stir-fry vegetables added, seasoned, and parpika’d, mixed herb’d, garlic’d, and chilli’d, we felt ready to serve the waxworm stir-fry starter.
With cautious enthusiasm we each each rushed to fork as many vegetables on our plate. Then, the big moment.
A waxworm, at least the way we managed to cook them, tastes like a clipping of toughened, hardened, and if you like, weathered skin from the sole of your foot. Despite our best effort with the herb and spice cupboard they too lacked much taste. For texture and taste, it was a disappointing start to my waxworm adventure. Nevertheless the stir-fry starter was munched, crunched and gobbled.
Waxworms, I have not given up on you. I am expecting better things next time!