Crabs and lobsters, spiders and roaches

I’ve often heard people say, “Don’t worry about boiling the lobster. He’s just a big cockroach, and he’d eat you if given the chance.”

Obviously crabs and lobsters are crustaceans, cockroaches are insects, and spiders are arachnids. But they’re all arthropods. Assume a cockroach the size of a lobster, or a tarantula the size of a dungeness crab. Would they taste similar to the crustaceans? Do they even have the same kind of tasty musculature as our delicious sea-friends? How different are spiders and crabs, roaches and lobsters?

I can’t talk about spiders or cockroaches, but i have eaten a few insects: mealworms, termites, beetle larvae. They are considered normal food in places. The don’t taste at all similar to crabs etc. The thing is that crabs taste similar to fish and mussels, if you have to compare them to anything. Anyone eating unidentified crab would immediately identify it as seafood.
Insects taste kind of ‘buttery’. It’s a unique taste in itself. It’s similar to that vague taste assoiated with kidneys and liver. Not unpleasant but unlike anything else.
So I don’t think a giant coakroach would taste at all like crab.

There are people in various parts of the world that do eat spiders and cockroaches, say there would be defintive answer available if you knew who to ask. The interesting thing is that people who happily eat grasshopers and termites would be absolutley revolted that we eat carrion feeding crabs.

Spiders are a delicacy in Thailand and Cambodia, and is a specialty of Skon, Cambodia:

Obviously, it loses something in the translation. :slight_smile:

The fact that lobsters and crabs live in salt water is likely a significant factor in the taste difference.

Agreed, also what the eat is also a factor.

Dont cockroches taste like marzipan?:slight_smile:

A friend of my brothers (yeah, ok - true really) working for the Department of Fisheries was on a boat that pulled in a floating human body from the sea. Anyway, it was full of prawns, they spilt out over the deck of the boat. Now we refer to prawns as sea-roaches. Haven’t had much of a desire to eat prawns since.

I suppose they fill similar ecological niches on land and sea.

Well, how about this for an example:

A horseshoe crab is about as close as we’re going to get to sea spider, and the only practical “meat” on them is the muscle that moves the tail (or telson for the nitpickers). There are places where you can get horseshoe crab soup, for example, but the point is–there just ain’t a lot of meat available for eating. (I also have no idea how it tastes, since I’ve never had any.)

It is interesting to note that grasshoppers and locusts are kosher (says so explicitly in Genesis), while ants, bees, and of course all shellfish are not. Haven’t tried any lately, though.

Ants, at least fresh off the ground, taste kind of lemony and not at all like crab or lobster.

Crawfish tastes kind of like lobster, only a bit different, I think the not living in salt water makes the difference. Also, crawfish is great cooked with cajun spices. I wouldn’t do that with crab or lobster (although crab with ginger is very yummy indeed)- just a bit of lemon and melted butter on the ocean-dwelling crawlies.

Haven’t tried grasshopper yet, although a few years back here in Vegas we had a veritable plague and I was very tempted. They still hop in great abundance and if someone could give me a good recipie, I’d have no objections to trying some. If I could get my mom to play along, I think they’d be a good source of cheap (or free) protien, being that money is scarce around the Logica household.

On the Discover channel a while back they were doing one of those specials about venomous critters that kill people and there was a segment on the Japanese giant hornet. Apparently the hornets are eaten as a delicacy in Japan and actually looked kinda tasty, but I wouldn’t want to have to dodge the stingers to get my dinner. If someone else wants to catch a few and cook them up for me, I’ll be happy to try some.

The idea of eating cockroaches and spiders just gives me the willies. On a special on tarantulas on Animal Planet, there was a bit with a tribe living in the jungles of, oh, was it Laos or Cambodia? one of those Southeast Asian contries where they still have jungles with tribal peoples living in them and apparently they consider tarantulas a great delicacy. The people claimed they tasted rather like crab. They seemed to be enjoying it, but I was mightily squicked by the idea.

Eating cockroaches, I don’t even want to think about that.

I always wondered why whenever there was a big plague of locsts wiping out crops we never hear about people frying up the locusts and eating them instead.

Sock Munkey, in some parts of the world, they do just that. Trouble is, it’s a very short term solution to the problem. When the crops have been eaten up, the locusts that haven’t been eaten by people move on, leaving folks with neither crops nor locusts to eat.

Of course, in most of the West, eating land-dwelling insects isn’t really part of the native cuisine, so people wouldn’t think of utilizing that particular source of protien in, oh, the Great Plains when the locust plague comes to town.

No one has mentioned termites yet. They are IIRC more closely related to cockroaches than other insects mentioned. They–due to their diet–taste like slightly oily nuts. I love them and wish (from a cuilinary standpoint) that the elevated nests of the tropics were around the house (but from a homeowners standpoint…)
One of the nice things about termites is that they dont have thick chitin (they are in enclosed spaces at all times).
Ants are okay, but the formic acid can have too much of a tang.

IANAJ, but as I understand it, there is one specific species of locust/grasshopper critter which is explicitly kosher, but nobody remembers what it is anymore, so they’re all considered off-limits. And shellfish are non-kosher for a different reason than insects: Shellfish are prohibited because they live in water, but do not have fins nor scales.

See second post. Beat ya.:wink:

The vast majority the termites that build elevated ness are grass eaters, so they pose no threat to your house.

Wood lice, aka sow bugs or roly-polys, found about everywhere, are crustaceans. Wonder what they’d taste like if you could grow them up to king crab size. “Land crab legs” might be pretty durned tasty.