i ate a mole cricket

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!


i was craving for frozen yogurt yesterday and i remembered seeing a pinkberry store at ajman city centre.  i have never tried their yogurt before but i knew that it is well-known back in the states. when i made it at pinkberry, i was trying to figure out what yogurt flavor to order when the guy at the counter asked me if it was my first time to try their yogurt (i’m wondering now if i looked like a confused kid staring at their menu!).  i said yes and he cheerfully gave me a ‘taste test’ on the yogurt flavors available.

there was mango, pomegranate, passion fruit, coconut, original and chocolate.  he said they also have green tea which was not available that time.  of all the flavors i tasted, i liked the pomegranate.  the chocolate was also good but i wanted something different.

i opted for a tailor-your-own fruit parfait, where one can choose three fruit, two dry toppings and two yogurt flavors.  my fruit parfait consisted of bite-size strawberries, pineapple and kiwi, some honey almond granola, fruity pebbles, pomegranate and mango yogurt.

pinkberry in ajman city centre is near carrefour beside cinnabon bakeshop. 🙂

camel milk

in my 10 things i have not done before list, one of them is for me to drink camel milk. i have worked in the mideast for nearly six years where camels are a common sight but have always been curious on how does their milk taste like.  i have asked co-workers who are saudis and they told me it’s the same as cow’s milk, but more nutritious and it’s good for the tummy because they say it will help cleanse it – meaning you’ll end up with a bad case of diarrhea?  😀

the other day while i was at a grocery store here in ajman, i saw this:

the ones being sold in the store are flavored, they have chocolate, strawberry, date and saffron. i chose date and saffron for they are unique flavors. i drank it when i got home and it does taste good specially the sweetness of the date flavor. next time i’ll try to look for an unflavored one to really distinguish the taste of camel milk from cow’s milk.


i found an unflavored camel milk the other day in another grocery store and when i tasted it, i really did not like it.  it’s either my brain is telling my tastebuds that it won’t be good as cow’s milk, hehe.