Kunga cake

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Huge swarms of Chaoborus edulis, resembling distant plumes of smoke over Lake Malawi's water

Kunga cake or kungu is an East African food made of millions of densely compressed midges or flies.[1] In his entomophagy book "Insects: An Edible Field Guide", Stefan Gates suggest that people can "make burgers with it, or dry it out and grate parts of it off into stews" for "umami richness".[2] Bear Grylls calls it "a great survival food" and describes how vast quantities are caught and turned into kunga cake.[3] American entomologist May Berenbaum discusses the situation where large swarms of midges can cause significant problems for local populations. She cites an example of how Chaoborus edulis swarms form near Lake Malawi and how the local people turn them into kunga cakes as a "rich source of protein" which is eaten "with great enthusiasm".[4] Explorer David Livingstone (1865) claimed that they "tasted not unlike caviare"[5] though Professor of Tropical Entomology Arnold van Huis declared that he did not like it at all.[6]

To catch the flies a frying pan can be coated in cooking oil and then wafted through a swarm.[2]


  1. ^ "Kunga cake". Media Storehouse. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  2. ^ a b Gates, Stefan. Insects: An Edible Field Guide.
  3. ^ Grylls, Bear. Extreme Food: What to Eat When Your Life Depends on It...
  4. ^ Berenbaum, May. Ninety-nine More Maggots, Mites, and Munchers.
  5. ^ Morris, B. (2004). Insects and Human Life, pp. 73—76. ISBN 1-84520-075-6
  6. ^ Smith, Lydia (13 May 2014). "Eating Insects: Grasshoppers and Crickets 'Delicious' But Fly Cake Unpalatable, Entomology Expert Says". Retrieved 25 February 2018.