Eating Ants

When the rains come in California, ants swarm from the soggy ground outside, up water pipes and through tiny cracks, into the house. There is just about no way to stop them. They get into everything. But the good news is that, unlike other insects, ants don’t ruin food — they are not only edible (as many other cultures know), they are delicious. Mosquitoes, no; for that you’d have to be a lizard or a bat or something. But ants are a health food. One rainy evening, with ants in the Gorgonzola, I wrote a sonnet about it.

Nowhere in the Book of Can’ts
Does it say you can’t eat ants.
Ants may seem serene and placid,
But they’re full of formic acid.
This adds a piquant touch of spice
And makes their flavor very nice.
Ants in the Brie or St. André?
You can eat it anyway.

Feeling weak or slightly pallid?
Add some ants to fresh green salad!
Chop them up or eat them whole
In a stew or casserole.
Then finish up the formic way,
With ants inside the crème brûlée.

February 2016