Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/548

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upon lobsters and lobster-salad, while a shudder of horrible disgust runs through our frames at the idea of eating a buzzard or a hyena. Yet the lobster is the scavenger of the sea as truly as the others perform the same functions upon the land.

We love the speckled beauties that haunt the mountain-streams, feeding upon insects and worms, while the Apache Mojave Indian turn in scorn from such a dish. The same Indians will regale themselves with the blood that flows from the death-wound they have just inflicted upon a deer, and will eat with relish the liver, smaller intestines, etc., while yet warm, and with little or no preparation; but we could hardly be induced to imitate their example.

Nothing can be more omnivorous and filthy in their feeding habits than chickens and swine; yet we relish the flesh of both with zest. Tripe, liver, and kidneys are esteemed by us, though a knowledge of their functions might cause a tremor of squeamishness to thrill through our bodies. As epicures we eat the diseased livers of geese, insect eating frogs, small birds and game in an advanced stage of decomposition, and call them delicious as we discourse upon their "gamy" flavor, and at the same time we would not entertain for a moment the idea of eating a dish of freshly-roasted locusts which have fed upon the clean, juicy herbage of our fields. The Hebrews of North Africa eat boiled and fried locusts with avidity, while their co-religionists in this country turn from lobsters with scornful loathing.

The Arab relishes the savory dishes made from locusts, while he expresses his abhorrence of our habit of eating raw oysters. Our society belles shriek with horror and fright at the appearance of a cockroach, yet they sip with pleasure the sherry and madeira wines that are aged, mellowed, and flavored with these pests.

Professor Charles V. Riley, for a long time State Entomologist of Missouri, and now Entomologist at the United States Agricultural Department at Washington, undertook in 1875 a series of experiments "to demonstrate the availability of locusts as food for man, and their value as such whenever, as not infrequently happens, they deprive him of all other sources of nourishment." Professor Riley took a lot of locusts to an hotel to be cooked, but he endeavored in vain to obtain assistance from the monarchs of the gridiron. The cooks and servants retired in disgust, and left the naturalists to do their own cooking. The savory messes that the latter concocted converted the kitchen; cooks and guests alike agreeing that the soups, fricassees, and fritters, composed materially of locusts, were excellent. In regard to these experiments Professor Riley says:

"It had long been a desire with me to test the value of this species (spretus) as food, and I did not lose the opportunity to gratify that desire which the recent locust invasions into some of the Mississippi Valley States afforded. I knew well enough that the attempt would provoke to ridicule and mirth, or even disgust, the vast ma-