my father, together with my ma picked me up from the airport last monday after my short weekend trip in aberdeen, hongkong. it was past six in the evening so i thought of inviting them for dinner and so my ma wouldn’t have to exert time to cook for us when we reach home.
there is this local restaurant in angono, rizal well-known to many for they serve “exotic” dishes. in my 10 things i have not done before post one of the things i have to do was eat an insect delicacy. i decided then to treat my parents for dinner on this restaurant.
balaw balaw restaurant is also a folk art museum. wood carvings and impressive paintings are displayed around the place. it has not changed much since i first visited years ago.
we were the only guests when we entered the restaurant for most likely it was a monday, complimentary bottled water was served the moment we sat on their steel-frame wicker chairs.
my main purpose of dining at balaw balaw was not to fill my tummy but to eat an insect (LOL!). my ma handed me one of the menu books and showed me the page of exotic dishes as she said: “ayan yung insekto na kakainin mo” (there’s the insect you’re about to eat) LOL again!. i love my mother! she just mentioned it a-matter-of-factly! 😀
kamaro or mole crickets are thick-bodied insects about 3–5 centimetres (1.2–2.0 in) long, with large beady eyes and shovel-like forelimbs highly developed for burrowing and swimming. it is most commonly found on ricefields, but i have actually seen some of them in our own backyard! here is one close-up picture i found on the net – just imagine eating this, haha!
out of my persistent determination, i ordered one. i asked the server on how they cook it, he said it’s fried with garlic and some oil, i told him to have it cooked well done! my ma ordered some crispy fried native duck, pinakbet and binagoongang rice. after waiting for a few minutes my kamaro dish arrived in our table.
seriously, it does not look palatable. it’s a bunch of dead squirmy bugs served in a banana leaf. my parents told me they use to eat this in the province when they were kids but cooked differently (they are kapampangan). i read from other articles that it tasted like peanuts, popcorn or chicken. armed with my sweet sago-gulaman beverage i ate a small-sized one. the taste did not registered in my brain. i ate some more and still, it was not the taste that retained in my brain but the consistency in my tongue. the part of the head was crunchy, the body is like soggy and my tongue can figure out the insect wings inside my mouth. eeew!
i asked my ma why it was like that and she said the crickets were not freshly caught and cooked. the fresh ones she said will have juices from the crickets abdominal part bursting inside your mouth . . . now that is nasty!