Murder hornets may be scaring people in the Pacific Northwest and Canada, but while they’re just as aggressive and dangerous in Japan, people there don’t simply fear them: They eat them. Japanese foodies appreciate the venomous insect for its “numbing crunch,” and dozens of restaurants in Tokyo alone feature it on their menus. The insect’s venom is also used as an ingredient in alcoholic drinks. The bugs are drowned in a clear distilled beverage called “shochu,” at which point the poison is released. The mixture then has to be stored for years to dilute the venom. Their nests are also used as home decor: They’re coated in lacquer, cut open to reveal the innards, and displayed in foyers and waiting rooms. There’s even an annual festival that celebrates the enormous wasps. But adventurous Americans are being warned to use “extreme caution” near the insects and not try to “remove or eradicate” any colonies.


2 days ago