The Asian giant hornet or “Murder Hornet” has been making headlines in the United States after being found in the country for the first time, but they’re old news to their native countries. In fact, they’re actually a delicacy in rural Japan.
Per The New York Times, “The grubs are often preserved in jars, pan-fried or steamed with rice to make a savory dish called hebo-gohan. The adults, which can be two inches long, are fried on skewers, stinger and all, until the carapace becomes light and crunchy. They leave a warming, tingling sensation when eaten.”
As if that weren’t unusual enough, these hornets are also used to make a kind of liquor.
“The hornets can also give liquor an extra kick,” the NYT piece adds. “Live specimens are drowned in shochu, a clear distilled beverage. In their death throes, the insects release their venom into the liquid, and it is stored until it turns a dark shade of amber.”
Shot of the liquor is sold for the equivalent of $19, with restaurant owner Shota Toguchida saying, “It looks surprising, but tastes great.”
We’ll perhaps just take Toguchida’s word on that one.