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Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Flying ants and peas

I have just being going back to my childhood when I helped me granny shell fresh peas and noticed the air outside my kitchen window suddenly filled with flying ants!!! Kill! I always enjoyed helping me granny take the peas from their cases and yesterday evening I indulged myself in this practice whilst making my tea and tried to ignore the grey winged beasties fluttering eractically in the summer air and tapping against my kitchen window and falling dramatically to the ground.

Did you know that the leaf cutter ant is considered a delicacy particularly in Brazil's Amazon basin? Apparently they are at their best at the beginning of the rainy season when the females leave the nest in huge numbers moving sluggishly enough to be easy prey. They are caught by the basket load and eaten either raw or roasted with salt. Their taste is nutty and highly appreciated by their culinary devotees. It is customary to eat the ants between the months of September and November when the ants grow wings to leave the nest. Only the females are eaten. How can they tell which is which? Who ever thought... "hmm yummy squirming wingless ants for tea"?

I think I will stick to my peas and new potatoes with fresh mint and English lamb chops. Call me old fashioned.


The Quizzical Observer said...

My grandmother was a farmer's wife in Herefordshire and ran a market garden. My sister and I used to get billeted there for a couple of weeks most summers to give the parents a break and we'd spend ages shelling peas and beans for dinner. Nothing quite like it; often with rabbit, pheasant or duck - any thing GrandDad could knock off with his gun nearby, legally or otherwise...

I make no comment on the ants, though.

Like the new look, btw.

Phil Lowe said...

Shelling beans and peas! great stuff and a really nice earthy smell too. Love the comment about GrandDad and his gun. lol Thanks Quizzical Observer.

Dominic Franks said...

Love he fresh shelled peas... to be added to something yummy or simply eaten alone? I love a fresh pea risotto myself.

Re the ant... same happened to us yesterday and as I reached for the ant poison my partner (ever the animal lover) asked me to stop so he could research... we found out that the winged ants is the best stage for us because they are on their way to better places and within 2 days they should all be gone... so why kill them? and true enough we are now ant-free!

Phil Lowe said...

Dominic: I didn't really kill any ants. Just posed for the silly photo and yes, peas can go with lotsof things and are scrummy just eaten on their own uncooked.

Tim said...

Thanks for the comment Phil. I'm new to all this so I appreciate any advice that comes my way, so muchos thanks!

BTW, I think this is the first time I've read the words Flying ants and peas in the same sentence. Love it!