Farmers in the Mekong Delta have turned the black and yellow scurge of an insect into tasty dishes.
Hornets prefer hide out, building nests in warm and dry places. They are also fiercely aggressive when they feel threatened, making them the enemy of rural people.
Nguyen Van Bay, a soldier in Vinh Long Province said, “During wartime, soldiers discovered a type of mushroom that is used as a tranquilizer to the insects, which they used before blocking all holes in the nest and moving it.”
Now local people use this mushroom to collect young hornets and larvae.
People in Binh Phu Commune, Tra Vinh Province apply another method to access the nest. They burn around bee nest to drive away or kill mature hornets taking the young and the larvae from inside the nest.
“They are very intelligent. Sometimes the mature hornets try to put out the fire by urinating,” Ut Ruong, a local man said.
A large hornets’ nest can be as big as a water tank, with up to 12 or 15 layers.
The larvae are used to make several dishes, such as rice gruel, usually eaten together with penywort, chilli and fish sauce.
The larvae can also be wrapped by noni leaves and grilled to make another dish with fish sauce, pepper and chilli.
Another use is to soak the larvae in alcohol for six months.
Nowadays, it is increasingly difficult to find hornets’ nests, so these dishes are more and more rare and special.