Sago caterpillars (gayas) have become not only the enemies of farmers but also a component in the culinary world for some residents of the Karangasem region.
These caterpillars usually appear during the transition from the rainy season to the dry season, which is happening right now.
Farmers select caterpillars that have a yellowish body color, as they are more mature. After collecting the caterpillars, they are cleaned of dirt and innards, then boiled for 30-45 minutes.
In the village of Abang in the Karangasem region, a Balinese man named I Nengah Adi Suda Darma shared different types of caterpillar dishes he prepares. They can be fried, cooked in broth with spices, or made into 'pepes' (a dish wrapped in banana leaves).
As for the taste, according to Suda Darma, the flavor of caterpillars is quite unique. It is almost like chicken but with a special chewy texture. However, he acknowledges that not everyone enjoys eating caterpillars.
Based on his own experience, the Balinese man claims that excessive consumption of caterpillars can cause dizziness.
"Yes, there was a time once. I felt dizzy after overeating caterpillars," said the Balinese man from the village of Abang.