Andrew Zimmern's Favorite Bug To Eat Apparently Tastes Just Like Shrimp

If someone were to ask what your favorite candy bar is, you'd likely have no problem coming up with a few solid contenders. If you are like many Americans, you may agree with Statista's data that shows Snickers as being the nation's number one choice. The country's preferred fresh fruit is the banana (via the U.S. Department of Agriculture). And Newsweek offers that Coke remains the most popular soda. It's easy for most Americans to identify their favorite foods when it's something they regularly consume.

But what if someone were to ask you, "Which bug do you most enjoy eating?" While noshing on insects may be a real thing in many corners of the world, beetles and such are not something that most Americans include in their diet. At least not knowingly. Andrew Zimmern, a James Beard award winner, acclaimed celebrity chef, television star, and former host of "Bizarre Foods," is no stranger to eating foods that would be unusual for many Americans, such as basketball-sized giant sea squirts and putrefied shark (via Zimmern's website). And he has a favorite bug. Of course he does. 

The giraffe weevil is a large Madagascan beetle

So, what is Andrew Zimmern's favorite bug? Apparently, when it comes to digging into a plate full of not-so-creepy crawlies, he recommends selecting the giraffe Beetle, a rather unusual-looking beetle that is indigenous to only Madagascar and also referred to as the giraffe weevil (via the San Francisco Zoo). What sets these insects apart from the gazillion different species that prowl the globe? 

Zimmern recently shared on TikTok that they are big and taste similar to shrimp. Shrimp? Really? Yup, he adds that they are "flash sautéed in butter," you sprinkle a bit of salt, and dig in. Butter and salt would definitely help — a bit. Comments came in fast and furious regarding this dish. One man admitted to eating grubs in Thailand that tasted rather popcorn-ish, while another confessed to being fascinated by sausage-like termite queens. Another said that giraffe weevils were their favorite animal (so, not penguins, then). For some reason, someone stated that "walnuts taste like earwax." (Apparently, they somehow learned the flavor of earwax). And, another admitted to accidentally ingesting a June Bug, but they didn't offer a review on its taste. 

We know of no one in a better position to make an insect recommendation than Zimmern, who has devoured tarantulas, coconut tree grubs, insect nuggets made of larvae, crickets (via The Travel), and much more. And wait until you hear how the giraffe weevil is harvested. Talk about working for your meal. 

You must wear protective gear to collect these insects

Collecting a dinner's worth of giraffe weevils is nothing like reaching into your pantry for a cup of rice. In a longer version of Andrew Zimmern's giraffe beetle post, which he shared on YouTube for his Substack "Ask Me Anything" series, the bug-munching chef describes the perilous gathering of beetles. Apparently, there are scrub bushes beside the desert that possess poisonous needles. 

After you've donned your beekeeper's outfit, you have to work your way through these barbs until you reach the swarms of plentiful bugs. At this point, "you can fill up coffee cans of beetles very quickly." What happens if you attempt to do this without protective gear. Zimmern explains that you will get massive "welts and stings." However, none of these stings would come from the bugs themselves because as the San Francisco Zoo notes, these beetles are incapable of stinging.

If you'd like to know more about this beetle before inviting it onto your dinner plate, perhaps these facts will put your mind at ease. This flying insect, which received its name due to its lengthy giraffe-like neck (via Smithsonian Magazine), is perfectly harmless. Leaves are the only thing they will eat. And, according to Zimmern, they're delicious.