Delicious locusts: With swarms imminent, one rabbi offers a tasty solution

Earlier this year, the insects evoked biblical times when they showed up at holy sites in Mecca, covering some areas in darkness and sparking a thunderstorm of hail and fire on social media.

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March 4, 2019 04:40
2 minute read.
Delicious locusts: With swarms imminent, one rabbi offers a tasty solution

Chocolate dipped parve locust. (photo credit: screenshot)

 
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The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned that an infestation of desert locusts in Sudan and Eritrea is rapidly swarming along both sides of the Red Sea towards Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

According to an agency press release, heavy rains triggered two generations of breeding since October, leading to a substantial increase in the locust population. 


Earlier this year, the insects evoked biblical times when they showed up at holy sites in Mecca, covering some areas in darkness and sparking a thunderstorm of hail and fire on social media.

If  the swarms reach Israel in time for Passover, one man is ready for them - Rabbi Natan Slifkin, director of the Biblical Museum of Natural History in Beit Shemesh. 
 
Slifkin organized and led the Feast of Biblical Flora and Fauna in 2016, at which the tasty insects [dipped in chocolate and served with a handy toothpick] were served alongside the more traditional roasted whole venison.

The flesh of these small edibles is pareve (considered neither meat or dairy), which means they can be served with either cheese or meatballs, according to your preference. Some Jewish rabbis assert that it's permissible to eat them live, according to Breaking News Israel.


While Slifkin is not a Yemenite Jew [the only Jewish community with a tradition of eating locusts] he is famous for his passion for biblical history and slightly occult themes in Jewish culture. His 2007 book Sacred Monsters was featured in the 2017 film I Kill Giants as one of the books the protagonist is reading.

Jewish tradition doesn't seem to view eating locusts in an overly positive light. The author of Aruch HaShulchan points out that they were eaten by the poor as an option only slightly better than starvation.

Also, a Midrash in Shemot Rabba describes how God is so annoyed with the Egyptians for responding to the plague of locusts by whetting their appetites, He sends a magical wind which blows every single tasty morsel away, even those already salted and pickled.

Media Line contributed to this article.

   


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