Some folk detest insects, finding the many legged creatures a nuisance and/or frightening. Personally, I love the little buggers. Growing up in a LA suburban hood surrounded by oak trees, desert valleys, creeks and chaparral, I fearlessly (and often stupidly) observed and played with an assortment of local creepy crawlies that included fire ants, black widows, scorpions, praying mantis, tarantulas, pillbugs, caterpillars, and other assortment of six and eight legged animals. Many which were…ahem…”encouraged” to get their fight on in a precursor to UFC bouts, I was a childhood backyard Don King. Gang turf wars between Argentine ants and Fire ants make for epic battles between immigrant and native ant populations. Outlying areas of LA are home to sizable hives of honey bees, a couple of which I’ve had frightening encounters with while trail running (the sound of a swarm is unlike anything you’ve ever heard and makes for record running times). I’ve only been recently introduced to the yelp-inducing house centipede living closer to downtown, and I still think potato bugs /Jerusalem crickets are life from another planet. LA is definitely an entomological soap opera for those with a keen eye and careful foot.
And pretty soon, LA will be an entomological buffet of sorts. Chef Zack Lemann will be cooking his special brand of culinary dishes this Saturday and Sunday at the 18th Annual Bug Fair at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Perhaps they can offer a “you bring it, we cook it” option for insects that day, chinese seafood restaurant style. Bring your appetite and chow down on some “crispy Cajun crickets and poached wax moth larvae appetizers” to your heart’s content.