Ants are one such insect many people are afraid of eating. Munching on little creepy crawly fellas may seem like a far-fetched idea in the western community but for centuries, people from all around the globe find the idea of eating ants on par with devouring lobsters or even caviars. Still, one might wonder what do ants taste like.
The taste of ants can be best described as an acidic spicy generic taste. Depending upon the type, some ants have a hint of tangy flavor and some are sweet as honey or grapes and can be eaten as munchies as well. Whether it’s skewered, roasted over coals or pan-fried it tastes divine just like an umami flavor of bacon. Such high demand is not only due to their amazing nutritional value but the appealing taste adds up to it as well.
The appealing crunchiness of ants has many companies used them as a source of protein in their flour and protein-making procedures. If you want to learn more about the mouth-watering taste of ants, then you have come to just the right place!
Are Ants Edible?
It is not a common practice to munch on ants in the USA but many Asian, Australian and African communities there love to try out different cuisines. I am sure you are wondering whether you can actually eat the black beauties without getting sick or not. If that’s been boggling your mind then you have come just to the right place!
Ants are very much edible and eating them has been a common practice in Asian culture. They are edible because ants are animal-based protein source that helps increase your dietary quality and overall protein intake. Nutritionists believe that it can be used as an alternative to meat, dairy, and fish. I know grimaces and gag reflexes are the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks about wolfing down succulent ants. But once you get around the idea of it, you can relish on the spicy and crispy taste that will bring delight to your taste buds and adds nutritional value to your diet.
Ants are normally consumed by Asian, African, and Australian communities. It’s been in their culture for centuries. So no one knows better about how to correctly enjoy the tiny beauties. Out of 12,000 species of ants classified so far, many are safe to eat, but it all boils down to its sour and tangy taste due to the natural formic acid that is found in ants. Although different cooking techniques may help neutralize the vinegar taste and let you enjoy the crunchy protein-enriched beauties of nature.
Although, there are certain ants that are poisonous, so you should probably do your homework before devouring them. Just to be super precautious if you are allergic to shellfish, shrimp, or chocolate then you might want to avoid consuming ants. Like any other food, ants can cause allergic reactions. Also, steer clear off the ants that give off a strong odor, it may be poisonous or disgusting in flavor. Better be safe than sorry, right?
What Do Ants Taste Like?
Ants generally have a zesty and crunchy flavor but the taste usually depends upon the kind of ant you are consuming. Like in Australia, you can find ants as sweet as honeypots as well. On the other hand, big carpenter ants are unpleasant to eat and they have a bitter taste, while some ants even taste like bacon. They can either be eaten raw or cooked. So, it can be said that ants bring a variety of flavors to your cuisine. In African culture, ants are considered aphrodisiacs and are often gifted in ceramic pots as a wedding present. It can be eaten as a handful of crunchy snacks or even served as hot meals.
Over time, people have discovered various ants, and their taste that adds up to our knowledge. Amazonian ants taste like lemongrass. They have a high content of formic acid that actually taste like lemons. In Australia, you can find ants with huge ballon-sized bellies. These gorgeous beauties have drink nectar and have a bittersweet taste. People like to munch on these just like sweet popcorns. Whereas leafcutter ants taste like pork rind, who would have thought of that right?
Depending on the cooking technique, you can add more flavor to these sweet and sour crunchies. But mostly ants retain their complex, acidic taste with a citrusy kick. Roasted ant has a pleasant umami flavor with a nutty and smoky essence. Some people prefer eating ants in all their glory ergo raw ants. It tastes like crunching on the zesty orange. It will give off an acidic aroma and have that pungent sour flavor. So, if you are not a big fan of acidic taste then we suggest you cook your ant in one way or another.
Breeding ants is effortless with the right tools so you can consume however many as you want. The most common edible ants are; leafcutter ants, honey ants, weaver ants, and black ants. Eating ants can be the new ‘it’ thing in the western world but this practice has been going on for centuries in the East. Their delectable taste is well received among many cultures for centuries. Recent studies have proved that eating insects contribute to saving the environment; also it is jammed packed with millions of health benefits. Nutrition claims that 100 grams of ants actually has more protein than one whole egg.
What do Black Ants Taste Like?
Black ants have a slightly pungent taste and can be eaten as a snack or used in cuisine to add that crunch factor. Black ants are considered spicy mostly because of the formic acid found in their sting or bite. They are among the largest ants to walk the Earth and have a nutty, crunchy bacon-like taste. They are normally consumed in China and Kenya.
These succulent beauties have a strong flavor and should be tested out in a small amount first. They have hedonic independence meaning that they do not need the help of a lot of spices to bring out their flavor. The limey or citrusy taste of black ants makes them a favorite among many communities.
What Do Honey Ants Taste Like?
Honey ants taste as sweet as honey nectar. These Aussie ants have a sweet and sour taste with a lingering flavor like wild strawberries, semi-dried in the sun. They have basically overfed ants with a balloon-shaped back. They carry food for the colony in case of rainy days. Their abdomen gets engorged up to the size of a small grape filled with bitter-sweet nectarine. The living larders have a unique bitterness as well which is oh so lovely!
Foodaholics claim that when you eat the abdomen, it’s the best honey you’ve ever tasted. The flavor is quite complex. You may get hints of honey-dew, and melony flavors when you pop it in your mouth. The tangy bittersweet flavors take you to nirvana. It’s a delicacy for sure!
Why Are Ants Spicy?
Ants are spicy due to the formic acid found in their sting or bite. They use it as a weapon to protect themselves against predators. These tiny insects are vicious during a fight and come out victorious because they live by the ‘united we stand’ code. This acidic taste makes the ants unique in the food group and makes you try it even more.
Remember the first time you have tried out ants on a dare your taste buds were hit by a spicy flavor? But as you chewed it some more you were amazed by that umami flavor. Wow! that oh-so-bittersweet memory is etched in your memory forever. The acidic content in their bodies makes the taste of ants a bit spicy with a hint of sour flavor. Formic acid is usually responsible for the burning sensation you get by gulping down a plate of ants. Apart from this, ants are bursting with other flavors as well. It can be spicy, citrusy, crunchy, or even bittersweet bringing a whole party in your mouth.
Ants That Taste Like Lemon
Lemon ants taste like lemon, as the name clearly suggests. They are also called Myrmelachista Schumann, found amidst the Devil’s Garden of South America. They are yellow in color and give off a strong lemon or citronella odor. These big yellow predators feed on the honeydew of aphids and extracts from the roots of plants.
Ants are now commonly consumed in major parts of the world. This sustainable food source is not only bursting with literally a million flavors but is also very beneficial health-wise. Depending on the species, ants usually have a spicy, bittersweet, tangy, and nutty bacon-like taste but generally, the spicy taste takes domination above all due to the formic acid extensively found in ants body.
To cover up the hint of spiciness, one can use different cooking techniques to make an ant dish worth their liking. Ants can be consumed raw, roasted, or cooked in stew whichever way you want to go, rest assured you will love the protein-filled beauties.