Did you ever come across something like this…
…and think to yourself, “Man… a few of those would be a decent meal!”
So… here’s the question: can you eat beetle larva?
It’s really hard to answer this question across the board. Through a series of scattershot searches, I at first thought I nailed down this puppy as being an infant Hylotrupes bajulus, also known as the “old-house borer.”
However, according to this site, the old-house borer only feeds on pine. This one was found in a rotten oak tree. This is probably good for my neighborhood, since the old-house borer will also eat houses that aren’t old.
With a little further looking, it seems this guy has to be in the same family as the old-house borer: Cerambycidae
But… again… is it tasty?
A little further searching and I have to say… it must be. Check out this vintage photo:
It seems Julia Child once served up this species. And, if you keep digging, the rabbit hole goes deeper. At one point, McDonald’s was apparently serving beetle grubs:
I imagine those “fries” are healthier than the original recipe, though I can’t vouch for the flavor.
Interestingly, I even found a shot of a politician getting in on the entomophagy action with what appears to yet again be this species:
Totally safe to eat? I just don’t know… but it’s amazing what you learn from the internet. Chances this bodacious bug baby is edible – many grubs are.
The only way to know is to eat it.
Yet… though I was truly tempted to fire up the skillet, I felt sorry for this grub and set it free. Besides, I would’ve needed about five more for lunch.
One day it will probably grow huge and menace some desert, like in Dune.
Or it will just mature into a harmless beetle. But probably the former.
All I can say to House Atreides is… bon appétit!