Monday, 23 March 2015

Edible winged termites "Aku, Esunsun, Shinge"

My friends in the eastern part of Nigeria think just because i live in Lagos, i live in paradise. Like we're all just out here where everything happens, sipping champagne, catching fun...just like a permanent vacation. Are they insane? Do they think the polluted atmosphere here is better than breathing in fresh air early in the morning or watching squirrels move around the tall trees in search of food? How can they possibly think that the hustle and bustle over here is better than the serene natural way of life over there.
Hell, i haven't caught my own food in over a year since my last visit to the village where i went snail hunting and quite frankly it sucks. Apart from snail hunting back then, another favorite pastime of mine was watching villagers place full buckets of water under florescent tubes to catch falling winged termites. 
Yeah you heard correctly, Termites!!!. I've always been a curious person who loves trying out new things so i don't even consider myself a picky eater. i believe being picky restricts and puts me in a box which is an enclosure i never want to find myself in. I recall my childhood friends used to be crazy about it, and it was actually fun joining them hunt, prepare by frying and finally eating it. It goes by different names such as ; Aku "Igbo", Ogan / esunsun/ Iba "Yoruba", Shinge "Hausa", Edon doroko "Bini". 
They're usually pushed out during the raining season. Termites are rich in protein and packed full of nutrients . Believe me when i say it's really tasty with a nutty flavor. They can be eaten alone as a snack or as an accompaniment to a number of savory dishes. In places like Anambra [orumba/aguata] , it's usually used to cook igbangwu aku a.k.a maize pudding with termites :D. In some other places, it's even used to cook okra soup or egusi soup.
Flying termites are visible when their colony swarms. Swarms are provoked by heavy rainfall and warm, humid temperatures among other triggers and most times are attracted to fluorescent tubes or bright light . Swarms occur when established colonies produce winged male and female termites in order to reproduce. These flying termites are fed some of the best food the nest has to offer and are well taken care of until the big day. As such, they are loaded with fat stores designed to last them for a few months. After these mating flights, fertilized termites shed their wings and go on to establish new colonies. Have you eaten termites? what do you think about it. 


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28 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:54 am

    I miss this so much. We call it esusu in my place.

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  2. Though I'm Yoruba, I always call it esunsun. I've never heard that ogan before o. I've eaten it once before sha. Congrats, Dobby on your nominations at the NBA. #voted! Good luck! :D

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    1. i guess not everyone calls it ogan. Had to change it to esunsun after your comment. Thanks alot for the vote Nikky :D

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  3. I thought it was Yoruba that call it esunsun. I know a lot of people, including boarding house students who used it them. A friend of mine even used to eat them raw. Funny enough, I haven't seen them in the past 15 or more years.

    Atilola's World

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    1. Thanks for the correction Atilola. i guess the common name for it in yoruba is esunsun. I've seen people eat it raw but i'd definitely pass on that...lol!

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  4. Anonymous9:04 pm

    I luv it too.. we call it shinge!

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    1. thanks for the contribution anon 9:04 pm

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  5. I loved it then, but I dunno if I can still eat it now.

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    1. hahaha! trust me nazor, the craving always remains.

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  6. Replies
    1. what dialect is that?

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  7. baddest2:53 am

    Chei! wetin poor man no go chop for naija :s. looks like roaches, i no fit :/

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    1. It's enjoyed by both rich an poor :)

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  8. Termites!! Got initiated into the termite eating club in boarding house and loving it since then..... Cant really remember how it was fried as 'cooking' wasnt allowed. Good Lord!! Thinking back now - however did we fry the termites in boarding house? It was delicious though! :) Been hooked ever since......

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    1. lol! some people eat termites raw so i guess..............

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  9. I ate Chinge as a boarding school student. We would remove the wings, add a little bit of salt and pepper and roast. The experience was fun and the meal, delicious. http://jaynewhyte.blogspot.com/

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    1. Boarding school seems to be the initiation point for this delicacy :)

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  10. inyama... dis is one tin u wnt make me try.... I saw dis for d first tym wen I was in boarding sch nd I dnt tink its sumtin I wnt to try. watsup, dobby, we're u nominated for d bloggers award,pks snd a link,so we can vote... ve a fab week

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    1. lol! This is not inyama o! You just need to taste it once and you're hooked :). Having you here is more than all the awards put together :)

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  11. We call this esunsun in Yoruba... my cousins and I would gather them when we visited my grandma. they are attracted to fluorescent light.

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  12. I am not a picky eater and I will like to try this as well one day.
    Thanks for sharing

    www.desiringyou.blogspot.com

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    1. You're welcome funmi. Do keep us posted k.

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  13. Anonymous3:36 pm

    aaahhhhh esusnsun fried wt as little as possible wt salt, eat it with garri. gbam

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    1. Anonymous12:12 pm

      correct!!!!

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  14. TASTY BT IT GIVES COUGH

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    Replies
    1. lol! True...sometimes.

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