Insects are a sustainable, protein-packed, and plentiful food source. Cultures across the world, ranging from Central Africa to Asia and Latin America, consume bugs. So why aren’t foodies in the western world biting?
According to researchers, insects will lose their “ick” factor if we make them more enjoyable to nosh on. “Humans want pleasurable dishes to eat, to share, and increasingly to talk about and photograph,” an article in the journal Food Quality and Preference recently stated. “The main problem that needs to be addressed regarding insects is simple to state: how can we make insects pleasurable to eat, or rather how can we make Westerners realize just how pleasurable they can be to eat?"
For one, we could cook them into delicious restaurant dishes. In recent years, kitchens across America have started serving up gourmet insect fare to fine diners. Entrepreneurs are selling insect-based snack foods and products. Now, chef Andy Holcroft and entomologist and insect farmer Dr. Sarah Beynon are opening the U.K.’s first “all-bug” restaurant in Wales.
Fittingly, it's called Grub Kitchen, and it's located on Beynon's bug farm. Diners will be able to order everything from cricket crepes to mealworm-cricket-grasshopper burgers. The “ingredients,” while now bred in laboratories and imported from European firms, will hopefully soon come fresh from the establishment's own supply. If you’re grossed out by the thought of legs, antennae, and eyes, you can hold off on ordering whole insects; they’ll also be ground up, mixed, or minced into foods. Patrons can also enjoy cooking demonstrations and interactive tasting events.
What's Grub Kitchen's overall goal? Besides providing customers with good food, the restaurant also wants "to pioneer the movement to normalize the eating of bugs on a day-to-day basis,” Holcroft told The Caterer. Interested in making a meal out of mealworms? Follow the restaurant's launch on Twitter, or check out its Facebook page.