The Forager's Calendar
Note: Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Midge Culicoides impunctatus and allies
Eating Midges is more a case of retribution than culinary excellence. They had it coming to them. Anyone who has attempted to stand still on the shores of Loch Lomond on a still September morning (as I have) will know why the Scots name for them is ‘small wee bastards’. They are exceptionally infuriating in calm weather and will bring the susceptible out in a terrible rash from their multitude of bites. My bites are not too bad and heal within a few hours, but others are not so lucky.
You will, no doubt. be wondering how one could possibly catch a sufficient number of midges to make it worthwhile. A good quality butterfly net will do it, though you won’t catch many by just waving it around. Persuade someone to drive you around a midge-infested area and hang the net out of the window. I have found that it is dangerous to travel any more than thirty miles an hour. Soon, on a good day, the bottom of the net will turn black with midges. A more determined approach is to use a mosquito net attached securely to the top of your car with a frame to form a 'sock-net'. The details of how to do this I will leave to you. This will catch more midges and avoid the obvious dangers of hanging anything large and unwieldy out of a car window.
Once you have enough, carefully remove any by-catch and scrape the black paste away from the netting. Quite what you do with it after that will requires some imagination, but it will definitely need to be cooked. A pate is the obvious thing, with plenty of bacon fat. 200,000 midges are needed to make four ounces (100g) of paste, so you will have a massacre on your hands. But this will have an effect on midge populations approaching zero as it is approximately the number that can emerge from a single square yard of peaty ground.