The Japanese have long been known for their dexterousness. From origami to bonsai to precision engineering, Japan does small and detailed incredibly well. One thing we had no idea they were so good at, however, was gross.
What you see in the above photo, dear reader, is not in fact a trio of insect larvae but delicious, blueberry-filled gummy bugs. And they’re making one little coffee stand in northwest Japan very famous.
Akai Tento no Koohii Ten (The Red Tent Coffee Shop) is a small market stall that serves a small fishing harbour on the east coast of Aomori Prefecture. Despite its size and limited hours of operation, Akai Tento has steadily built up a name for itself and has been featured both in print and on national TV and radio. Why? Because they serve creepy-crawlies.
Not to worry, though, these aren’t the kind of bugs that you might be dared to eat during a trip to Thailand or on a bush walk in Australia. These are all hand-made and filled with delicious, sweet fillings rather than real-life insect goo.
But that’s not to say that Akai Tento’s bugs aren’t anatomically correct. The Kabutomushi Youchuu Gumi (rhinoceros beetle larvae) pictured below, for example, are made with a realistic-looking blueberry jam-flavoured “innards” that can be squeezed out of their pale white bodies, which themselves are said to taste like popular yogurt-flavoured soft drink Calpis. Mmmm!
Akai Tento doesn’t just do larvae, though! You can find all manner of delicious, yet disgusting-looking, creatures to eat in front of your friends and coworkers!
▼ “I didn’t want to touch them, so I ate these with chopsticks!”
Each of Akai Tento’s gruesome gummies is available to buy individually or in packs (or perhaps that should be clutches?) via Yahoo! Japan Shopping, and cost between 300 and 350 yen (US$2.80-3.20) each. If you’re in Japan, you might want to stock up in time for Halloween–the kids will either think you’re the coolest person in the world for having such amazing treats, or they’ll refuse them entirely, leaving you with mountains of delicious, gooey insects to cram into your hungry shout-hole.