“The fresh garlic just made the crickets pop.” ~Anonymous food critic
You may have heard of the Paleo Diet, similar to the diet consumed by a cave man. It turns back the hands of time to cook and eat food found in your back yard or garden you could catch, dig-up or forage.
Then came the Pagan diet and it had nothing to do with dancing around a fire in furs with antlers on your head. The Pagan Diet was Part Paleo, Part Vegan.
Now imagine taking both of those diets and combining them into one consisting of live ingredients found in your backyard-bugs; entomophagy.
Meet the latest food and diet craze- Bugs.
No, BUGS is not an acronym for something else. Bugs mean bugs!
Have you ever eaten in a restaurant sporting an Aphrodisiac Menu? Would you know aphrodisiac food if you saw it? Seared fresh tuna is an aphrodisiac food, aka Sexy Food. Oysters are an aphrodisiac food.
The idea of insects as a healthy, and in some cases as a sexy gourmet food source has been around since the beginning of time. Edible insects are one of the most sustainable forms of proteins on the face of the earth with a culinary potential that we are only beginning to explore. When compared to beef, insects have the same, if not more, nutritional benefits. They require a fraction of the land, water and feed to produce. Despite the exotic label, entomophagy is nothing new.
Two billion people eat insects every day, just not in the West.
According to entomologist Meghan Curry from Bug Vivant, “Two years ago, edible insects were nothing more than an academic idea in the US. Today, this industry is booming, with a new startup joining the ‘edible insect industrial complex’ just about every week.”
What about stink bugs? Could anyone enjoy eating a stink bug burger?
According to Meghan Curry many stink bugs, aka Jumiles, like the Atizies taxcoensis native to Taxco region of Guerrero, Mexico are delicious. Although they can be fried, roasted or boiled they are one of the few insects that are traditionally consumed LIVE/raw. They have a cinnamon-like smell and are high in iodine, riboflavin, tryptophan, and niacin, making them a healthy food source and giving them a unique flavor.
Most bug burgers are a combination of mealworm, cricket and grasshoppers.
Have you ever finished a bottle of Tequila and dared to ‘eat the worm?’ Bet you didn’t know you were munching on a Mexican delicacy. Mexican folklore states that if you eat the worm you will have life-visions. Just thinking about eating that worm gives me visions.
Here is one of the most fashionable gourmet insect recipes sweeping a nation awakening to bugs, Cricket Bolognese from One Hop Kitchen.
1 can Tomato sauce
3 large vine-ripened tomatoes
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons sunflower oil
2 finely chopped onions
2 Tablespoons roasted garlic
1 cup crickets (gryllodes sigillatus)
extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
- Saute live or frozen crickets in roasted garlic and olive oil.
- Combine all ingredients in a large pan and simmer until desired thickness.
If cooking an insect meal is not your cup of tea try eating them in one of the hundreds of restaurants popping up all over the country or at the Grub Kitchen in the United Kingdom which specializes in Bug Burgers.
When the Egyptians saw locusts as a plague, the Native American Indians saw them as pudding. I am also reminded of the description of John the Baptist, who “wore clothing of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.” (Mark 1:6).
The Judeo-Christian tradition has a number of references to hopping cuisine including (Leviticus 11:21-23). “Some winged creatures that walk on all fours that you may eat, those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground. Of these you may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket or grasshopper. But all other winged creatures that have four legs you are to detest.”
As far back as 1875, the New York Times published a column on the possibilities for eating locusts as a way of dealing with an annual plague of the creatures. The times referred to them as “the new bird for table consumption”, and “shrimps of the air”.
Eating bugs is all about the nutritious diet behind delicious insects for dinner.
So, you think you would never be caught dead eating bugs for dinner. Do you like lobster? Does the thought of shrimp cocktail or crab cakes make your mouth water?
If you answered yes to any of those questions you already eat and love bugs because Lobsters are really cockroaches of the seas.
Keep an open mind, even if you refuse to keep an open mouth. The next time you are in a city that sports a Bug Bar or Insect Menu, go in, sit down, listen to the Bugs Dejour Specials, (no laughing aloud permitted) and then just order a cup of coffee or tea, and watch the patrons devour their interesting dishes, if you dare.
Just think of the twist (no pun intended) you could put on popular dishes if you made them at home like The New England “Flap” Jacks for breakfast, Cajan Hoppin’ John Rice for lunch and, the ultra Gastronome delight Bug Bolounguese over cricket pasta. One chef commented on how the garlic in the recipe makes the crickets pop with flavor. Until you try it don’t knock it, or squash it.
This summer start a new backyard family trend with bug burgers. Be the first to yell, “Kids the bugs are ready. Get them while they are still hot.” And, invite your neighbors to join in a feast they will never forget.
And that brings us back to Bug Burgers as an aphrodisiac. Yes, I can see it working. If someone said to you, “Make mad passionate love to me or eat this bug burger.” Which would you do? I would get sexy real fast.