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Pinoys have a very…let’s say…unique palate when it comes to food. If you’ve ever seen a foreigner’s reaction to eating balut, a formed chick still inside its egg, then you’ll know what we’re talking about. Aside from our classic street food treats, the Philippines has other exotic foods consisting of animals, especially pests, we normally wouldn’t eat. Today, we’ll tackle these critters that make Pinoys exclaim, “Finger lickin’ good!”
If you find a cricket in your garden, chances are, you’ll immediately call pest control in the Philippines to solve this problem. But if Filipino farmers find them, they’ll reach for their spatula and frying pan instead of bug sprays. Yes, crickets are tasty treats for Filipinos. Kamaro is a Kapampangan delicacy. The legs, wings, and heads are removed, so what you have left after cooking is a delicious, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside texture.
To natives of the province, a snake is also a treat. You’ve probably heard stories of security guards finding a snake inside a school or other location, catching, and then cooking it either grilled, roast, or adobo style. Snakes and pythons are rumored to taste like chicken when cooked in this manner.
No, we’re not pertaining to the domesticated rodents that you find in your homes like sewer rats. We’re talking about farm rats, rats that live in the wild. These are clean by nature and are viands choices in provincial locations. Surprisingly, they also taste like chicken.
Another Pinoy dish that tastes exactly like poultry is the frog. Like snake and rat, these can be grilled, roasted, or even fried with breading to look like chicken legs. Just watch out for everyone’s reaction when they find out you served them…uh…frog.
Again, we’re not referring to snails that you find in the garden, but farm snails. This is best cooked with coconut milk and is a treat for Filipinos. Though the meat may be hard to extract, there is one sure method of doing so. Blow at the topmost opening of the shell and meat will come out at the opening. Using a fork or toothpick, take the cooked snail outside of its shell and into your mouth.
Are you familiar with other animals Pinoys cook for an exotic meal? Would you eat any of these animals if given the chance? Share your answers in the comments section below.