There is absolutely no dearth of things on the planet that excite our taste buds but as you travel to the eastern part of the world, you will find that the choices are humongous and sometimes bizarre to say the list. Countries like China, Japan and other South Asian countries eat most things that move or breathe and although it may gross us out, it is an integral part of their culture. So it should come as no surprise to us that there is a special kind of beer made in Japan that is made from cockroaches. Yes, you read that right, Cockroaches! Japan has taken the saying that humanity’s long term survival depends on bugs and insects, due to shortage of food seriously and has added an aesthetic aspect to it, making beer out of them.
Known colloquially as Konchu Sour, or Insect Sour, it’s made of cockroaches found in freshwater that feed off other insects and fish found in the water. These cockroaches are boiled in steaming water for a couple of days, after which the resulting juice is used to make the drink, which is served all over southeast Asia as a delicacy and is best served with ice.
The Daily Star reported that the Taiwanese male cockroach is considered the most delicious of all in Japan and is consumed enthusiastically. These bugs, apart from making beer, are also consumed after being boiled or are used as typical seasonings for soups and stews. The Taiwanese male cockroach is often compared favourably to good quality prawns and described as being fruity.
The Konchu Sour beer is priced at around ₹450 per bottle and is distilled through a traditional Japanese process called “kabutokama” which has been around since the late 20th century. The label of the bottle has the picture of a giant water bug which is commonly labelled as the “Indian Toe Biter.”