Crunchy Critters Review
Crunchy Critters are the UK’s leading supplier of internationally sourced edible insects. They sell a large variety of insects that have been thoroughly tested and certified for human consumption.
Part of survival involves taking advantage of any opportunity that comes your way. That includes food. In a survival situation it is highly unlikely that you are going to be eating food you would normally choose to eat at home. Mother Nature provides many opportunities for a quick meal , if you are willing to put your gut reaction behind you.
Edible insects are a source of protein, they are low in carbohydrates and a good source of fibre. The Real Survivalists received a variety of insects from Crunchy Critters recently and this is what they are like:
Mopane Worms are a traditional African delicacy. They are the caterpillar of the Emperor Moth. These things can grow up to finger length in size and thickness. Mopane worms can contain more than 5 times the amount of iron than beef (weight to iron ratio) so they can be a very beneficial food source.
Mopane Worms from Crunchy Critters are sourced from sustainable stocks. In a world where the future is not always considered, this is a very positive thing. There is no danger to their local Eco – system so Mopane Worms can be eaten as a guilt free snack. Crunchy Critters prepares them by boiling them and then deep frying them. They are then shipped to you, ready to eat. Mopane worms are free from artificial colours, flavourings or preservatives.
Mopane Worms from Crunchy Critters look a little like large pieces of dried fruit. You can see the small round head of the caterpillar at one end of the worm. There are a variety of sizes in each packet. The segments of the caterpillar are still visible through the deep frying and it is still pretty obvious what you will be eating.
The Mopane Worms feel crunchy. They give a satisfying snap when broken in half! In your hand they feel no different to a rough stone. They do not feel like you are holding a bug so there is no need for squeamishness. They feel quite cracker like with a rougher edging.
The smell of the Mopane Worms is quite pleasant. They have a smell similar to that of other deep fried foods. There is almost a burning tinge to the smell but they certainly do not smell bad at all!
The taste is very similar to the smell. Once you have smelt the Mopane Worms then you will know the taste. These fit perfectly into the food category of tasting better than they look! They are crunchy and easy to eat. No substantial aftertaste is left and it would be quite easy to eat a few of these in one sitting.
The Mixed Critters from Crunchy Critters feature Mealworms, Crickets, Locusts and Buffalo Worms. This pack is high in protein and low in carbohydrates making them a very low fat snack. As with the Mopane Worms, all of these bugs have been sourced from sustainable stocks and are free from artificial colours, flavourings and preservatives with no MSG.
All of these look like bugs! The Mealworms look like Mealworms, the Crickets look like Crickets, the Buffalo Worms look like Buffalo Worms and the Locusts look like Locusts. With these, there is no denying what you are eating!
The Locusts and Crickets still feel relatively bug like. They are just crispier. Their wings feel a little like sugar paper while their bodies feel slightly firmer but give a very crispy feel. The bodies feel hollow which makes you feel better about eating them without worrying about the bursting of any stomach contents etc. Both types of worm feel pretzel like. You can tell they will be crunchy. All of these critters feel different to how you would probably expect them to feel. The worms do not feel like you are holding bugs and there are no horrible feelings with them at all.
All of these do not really smell of anything. There is no real smell to them at all. This is a good thing as it signifies that the taste should be good with no overpowering flavours. If you sniff the packet as whole, you get a very faint smell which is a little nutty. Apart from that – no real smells for the Mixed Critters.
Both the Meal Worms and the Buffalo Worms taste quite like pretzels, just less salty. These 2 are the critters you could just sit and eat like a packet of crisps! Not much of an aftertaste and very satisfying to eat. The Crickets and Locusts taste quite nutty. This would explain the nut like smell in the packet. The wings of the Locusts can feel slightly odd in the mouth but there is certainly no bad taste. They are surprisingly moreish!
Cheese & Onion/Salt & Vinegar Crickets
These are the same Crickets that feature in the Mixed Critters pack but this time they have been infused with the classic flavors of cheese and onion or salt and vinegar. These might be a good way of introducing yourself to insect eating without going straight in to the big boys. They are also gluten free and high in protein.
Crickets with powder on them! A simple but accurate description of these. They still look like Crickets but the flavoring provides a powder like coating over them.
Although these are smaller crickets than the ones in the Mixed Critters packet, they feel exactly the same. They have a crunchy feel to them. They have a smoothness to them which doesn’t allow you to feel the individual parts of the body. This makes them easy to hold and also makes it easier to convince yourself you are not eating a Cricket!
You definitely get the kick of the flavorings in these. While they do not taste exactly like their crisps counterparts, the flavorings definitely add a nice kick to the Crickets. Salt & vinegar Crickets have a pleasant vinegar taste to them. I was concerned they might be too salty but the vinegar flavour actually makes them nice to eat. The biggest surprise were the cheese & onion Crickets. They taste like cheese & onion crisps! The right level of flavoring has been used to give them an enjoyable taste.
Queen Leafcutter Ants
These ants are big! Don’t imagine the small garden ants we get here in the UK, the Queen Leafcutter Ants are among the largest ants in the world. They are considered a delicacy in South America. The ants are a rich source of unsaturated fatty acid. This helps the prevention of high cholesterol. Queen Leafcutter Ants contain approximately 20% protein, 33% unsaturated fat and 4% carbohydrates. They’re also a good source of vitamins B1, B2 and B3. Most surprisingly, they are thought to possess aphrodisiac properties so best not to eat these alone!
Queen Leafcutter Ants look like reddish, black balls. Once you pick one up you can then clearly tell they are Ants. Big Ants! The bodies make up the majority of their size with the heads, still fairly large, making up the smaller portion. Legs are visible too but Queen Leafcutter Ants are served without wings.
The body is smooth while the head is rougher. The legs are quite brittle and break off fairly easily. Very light and the big body makes the Ants easy to pick up and hold.
The Queen Leafcutter Ants have a pretty distinctive smell to them. Quite similar to raisins, not unpleasant (unless you do not like raisins I guess!)
Like their smell, the Queen Leafcutter Ants taste like raisins too. More crunchy than expected and no real unpleasantness to it. Slightly sour but no too bad at all. A slight aftertaste is left but this too is nowhere near as bad as you might expect.
Where to buy
All of these edible insects can be purchased from Crunchy Critters.
Mopane Worms – £6.49
Mixed Critters – £6.49
Salt & Vinegar/Cheese & Onion Crickets – £3.99
Queen Leafcutter Ants – £3.49
Overall, all of the edible insects from Crunchy Critters taste much better than you might expect. None were unpleasant and all were palatable. These can be a useful addition to any survival kit as emergency food supplies. They are also great conversation starters for parties etc.