TRY-DAY FRIDAY: Insect Cuisine May Be The Next New Food Trend
The Latest Food Trend: Eating Bugs
Unless you've got a taste for daring delicacies (among other things), the prospect of embracing entomophagy—the consumption of insects—may seem, well,icky.But according to a 2013 United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization report, "Edible Insects: Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security," we should all be dining on the critters for both health and environmental reasons (insect farming produces smaller quantities of greenhouse gases than livestock farming). "There is an experimental, almost flirty, approach to food right now," says Culinary Tides trend forecaster Suzy Badaracco, a chef and registered dietitian. "Global cuisines are particularly popular, and eating insects has that sexy factor. And the omega-3 fatty acids found in mealworms are comparable to those in fish," she adds. You heard it here first: Insects are the new salmon.
Granted, crunching on crickets may not be familiar to Western palates, but it's hardly a new phenomenon. At least two billion people worldwide, predominantly in Latin America, Asia, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, eat insects as a key component of their diet. "I've eaten a lot of bugs," says author and formerGourmetmagazine editor in chief Ruth Reichl. "Worm larvae and ant eggs have a soft texture like minced sweetbreads and grasshoppers are crunchy." Reichl believes that insects are a "perfectly good source of protein that have been completely overlooked." Until now. Denmark's vaunted Noma restaurant, which topped 2014's list of the World's 50 Best Restaurants, serves up beef tartare topped with ants and a bee larvae pastry brushed with grasshopper garum. "It's not about theatrics, it's all about flavor," says Noma spokesman Avre Krognes.
Similarly, at London's Archipelago restaurant, you can order the Love-Bug Salad, featuring pan-fried crickets; sprinkle weaver ants over mash; or satisfy a sweet tooth with chocolate-covered locusts. In New York, Toloache offers Tacos de Chapulines—a.k.a. grasshopper tacos—and tacos with worms from agave plants, while Maya serves Sur Guacamole, flavored with tomatillo, cotija cheese, chili, and ground grasshoppers. Reichl cites the ethical food movement and the rise of nose-to-tail eating championed byCookedauthor Michael Pollan as a catalyst. "Why is eating a pig's leg any weirder than a bug?" she says. For some, it's not. "I've eaten snakes, tarantulas, and masses of insects, and I've seen creepy crawlies on menus around the world," says British adventurer andMan vs. Wildhost Bear Grylls.
Video: Insect ice cream is the latest food trend the internet is obsessed with 🐜
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