Weird canned foods has a delicious gallery of "The Most Curious Canned Goods Found Online." Seen here is a tempting snack of silkworm pupae. From the article:
Chrsaliscan Afternoon Delight – Silkworm Pupae
Literally meaning pupa or chrysalis, beondegi are popular Korean street snacks, often dished out by the cupful to eager passers-by. The stewed and seasoned silkworm treats come highly recommended as bar bites. Next time you crave a quick mouthful on the go, grab a can of these crunchy chrysalises.

UPDATE: is the source of the silkwood snack photo, including fun commentary from Sneeze Steve and other taste treats! Link


  1. I have some korean buddies, i go out drinking with them at some korean bars from time to time, and they have tricked me into eating these larvae. these ones came tossed in a red chili (what else) vinegary dressing. they were revoltingly disgusting. and i am NOT a squeamish eater. there is also a preparation of these larvae that is dry, like a nut. the larvae are black. they tricked me into eating those too. even more horrible, as the dried larva seems to suck all the moisture out of your mouth. MORE SOJU PLEASE!!!

  2. I can hardly believe it—we were all recently informed of non-violent silk and the plight of the silkworm on boingboingtv, and now this!?

    This blatant disregard for worm-rights is ridiculous. Why doesn’t Bono do something about this?

  3. My fiance is Korean – her mom got me to try these once at a sashimi joint – after she explained how healthy they are for you. It wasn’t the bug part that bothered me really – just that they taste about like dirt, and the weird astringent aftertaste penetrated all my senses… I can’t even explain really how bad these tasted to my western tongue.

    This is about the only Korean food I just cannot stomach. It took two shots of soju and a whole bunch of radish to kill the lingering flavor of bug dirt.

  4. Yeah, a Korean friend persuaded me to try silkworm soup when I was in Seoul earlier this year, in a chicken restaurant called T’wo-T’wo. The soup itself wasn’t too bad, but when I chewed the pupae, I found the texture quite unpleasant. Kind of slightly crunchy with a papery layer.

    This is one of the foods listed on the voodoo board at Nippon2007 as The World-wide Worst Foods.

    I should mention that I ended up eating grasshoppers at another party at the worldcon, which I found I didn’t mind at all.

  5. I must say, the non-violent silk mystified me.

    First, the silkworm pupa is undergoing a complete metamorphosis from caterpillar into moth. Once it wraps itself up it generates digestive enzymes that reduce most of its body to acellular soup. At this point it’s alive in the same way that a just-fertilized chicken egg is: just a couple of living cells and a whole mass of food for them.

    Second, if allowed to proceed unmolested it will hatch into an adult moth. This has no functional mouthparts, and will die within a day. All it can possibly hope to achieve is to mate and (if female) lay eggs. Each will lay 200 to 500 eggs. I don’t see how the non-violent folks can let each one reproduce, and then not kill any of the eggs, or we’d have a silkworm population bomb.

  6. I’m not fond of these kind of posts. They always reek of the same cultural smugness you see on “Engrish” blog sites. Yeah, we get it already, brown people will eat anything.

  7. Clifford;

    Actually your viewpoint isn’t any less offensive, making the assumption that any other culture has a reason to care what the U.S. thinks. As if somehow our opinion matters more, so we have to be extra careful not to step on toes.

    I refuse to pretend I have that much cultural agency.

  8. Apparently Clifford has never heard of lutefisk. That smug “brown people” thing really needs to be retired btw.

  9. @Clifford – Then go to – the “brown people” (dude… seriously) as you’ve so aptly put it, make fun of “whitey’s” complete disregard for Asian culture and language. A sort of ‘reverse’ Engrish if you will. Maybe that will give you the Affirmative Action you’re looking for.

    Oh and for the record I’m Mexican and German. Having lived both in Germany and South Texas (hey – it USED to be Mexico) I can openly hold my mother and father’s people are responsible for a great number of gastronomic catastrophes (various canned pork parts, bull penis, lamb-eyeball tacos, etc…).

    I for one think it’s amusing what each culture considers food.

  10. That looks great to me! Anybody know where I can find them in the NYC area? I’m planning a Halloween party with lots of yummy disgusting foods.

  11. The first time I was in Japan I did a spent two weeks working on a family farm as part of a language emersion thing. One day the grandmother went out to a bees nest and I thought, oh, she’s getting honey. No, she was getting the bee larva to fry up and eat with a little soy sauce.

    Of course everyone’s heard the story from people who’ve been through basic training of how they were dropped in the middle of Branson, Missouri, and had nothing to eat but maggots. Larva are rich in protein I understand.

    And about the “brown people” thing, one word: haggis. Discussing things that are “exotic” to you does not make one a racist.

    Also, the rest of the farm family thought grandma was a little weird, too.

  12. @Rake – What part of NYC are you in? I suggest you just go to Main St in Flushing, pretty much any Korean Grocery there will have them. Just hit up Google Maps for “Korean Grocery near NYC” or something, or let me know where you’re at, I’ll might be able to point you in the right direction.

    Twig, yeah Texan food is awesome in that “stare death in the face” sort of way. I admit – I can’t pass up steak fritters, or deep fried apple pie.

  13. I’ve not eaten these personally, but I’ve had the taste described to me as, “Like a mouthful of Grandma’s attic.”

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