In places like Columbia, Korea, and the Philippines, eating insects as a snack or with a meal is no big deal, but in Europe and the United States, the idea of chomping down on a crunchy critter makes many people squeamish. A few ambitious chefs are determined to change all that.
Toloache, a restaurant in New York City, serves up tacos de chapulinesor grasshopper tacos, inspired by chef Julian Medina’s upbringing in Mexico City. In the Netherlands, the restaurant Specktakel recently hosted a five-course bug buffet, which included samosas with a mash-up of bugs known as “insect crumble”, mealworms and duck, and chocolate fondant with worms. Though the buffet was a special occasion, the chefs promise to keep at least one insect dish on the menu at all times.
Those looking for a more subtle introduction to entomophagy (the scientific term for bug-eating) can visit the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans, Louisiana, where the insecectarium serves up gourmet bug-eats every day at 10 am. From chocolate “chirp” cookies (baked with crickets as well as the usual chocolate chips) to cucumber sandwiches topped with queen ants, the dishes are all aimed at making eating bugs more routine.
“We eat so many odd things, like eggs, organ meat and honey, which is bee barf when you think about it,” said Zach Lemann, visitor programs manager at the insectarium. “Why not eat bugs? Insects are healthful for people, but they also taste good. They are much more efficient at converting plant matter into edible tablefare than livestock, so there is an environmental benefit as well.”
Whatever the six-legged snack on the menu, diners are always wished a hearty “bug appétit!”
Have you tried eating any of these edible insects or bugs? If not, would you be willing to sample one?
Source: BBC Travel
Image: Eat The Weeds