Where can you find this insect ?
Shea caterpillars are consumed in Burkina Faso, in the region of Bobo-djoulassou.
Chitoumou in Burkina Faso
Shea caterpillars are eaten in big quantity during the rainy season in August. Mature caterpillars leave the leaves they eat to bury themselves in the ground, and transform into a cocoon before becoming a butterfly 9 months later. This is while going down the trunk of the Shea Tree that they’re collected using a traditional method.
Economy around caterpillars
Caterpillars harvesting creates a lot of employment opportunities in the villages. Those dried caterpillars are sold along the roads between 1500 and 2000 fcfa/kg ( $2,5 and 3,5). Some companies like FasoPro also transform caterpillars into powder or biscuits and sell it within the country and abroad.
Taste and texture
Shea caterpillars have a grass taste, certainly because their only food are leaves ! Fresh and cooked in a broth, caterpillars are delicious, the texture looks a bit like squid or meat. Once dried, the taste is more like dried fish !
Shea caterpillars are rich in iron and in omega 3 fatty acids !
Nutritional composition of dried shea caterpillars
|including iron||13 mg/100g|
|including Omega 3||36 %|
|Fibres (chitin)||5 %|
Source: Morgane Paul M. Anvo et al. Nutritional qualities of edible caterpillars Cirina butyrospermi in southwestern of Burkina Faso. International Journal of Innovation and Applied Studies Vol. 18 No. 2 Oct. 2016, pp. 639-645
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