April 22, 2014

Food of the Future?

A few weeks ago my boyfriend and I were invited to a home-made dinner with his family and the idea was that all couples had to prepare one dish. We decided to prepare a chocolate fondue for dessert, but since we wanted to shock and impress a little bit, we wanted to add a special element instead of just fruits and cakes: ... locusts. 

Locusts are used in various dishes in Mexico, China and Africa, because they are a good source of protein. In some countries in the Middle East, the insects are boiled in hot water with salt, dried in the sun and eaten as a snack. Although it sounds a bit creepy, we wanted to try it.

We found a professional website where you can order locusts and all other kinds of insects online, it's called DeliBugs (find it here). When you enter the site, you will immediately see all kinds of well made up and nicely garnished dishes that contain a certain insect. On the website the owners state that the world population will grow to nine billion people in the next period of time and it is time to think of other sources of protein. Insects would be an excellent option. They say that insects have a unique taste and are healthy and grown sustainably. They want to entice you to have a taste of their product and say that you will find out that eating an insect isn't so bad. I think the idea is good, but I'm not sure yet about the practical implementation, so.. time to try it out! Are insects the food of the future?

The locusts arrived a bit too late for the chocolate fondue, but that meant that my boyfriend and I could try the insects in peace by ourselves at home and that I could write a detailed report about it.

The insects arrived in a carton box in a plastic container. On the lid it says that the nutritive value per 100 grams is 559 kcal (38,1 grams fat, 1,1 grams carbs, 48,2 grams protein). It also says to remove the wings and legs before consumption. I'm not sure if I'm ready for this...

... help!

We tried them with a little bit of chili sauce, because we expected them to be a bit dry. The locust in the front on the picture below is ready to eat (wings and legs are removed). The best tip is really to not look at it for too long (which is exactly what I did, resulting in hesitation for a few minutes and a conversation with myself about whether I should do it or not). It is the same thing with mussels; when you are going to study all the elements of the creature, you're never going to eat it. Just do it and chew!!! (these are not my words, but my boyfriends words).

Eventually, I did it! And I have to say, the website owners of DeliBugs weren't wrong; it actually isn't so bad. They are not hard or tough; but very crispy and also quite light, which means you are not chewing for a very long time. We decided that the taste is something in between nuts and butter. They aren't very dry as well, the only thing is that small and thin parts keep stuck between your teeth and on your tongue; the same phenomenon as with eating popcorn. However, I'm not sure yet whether this is going to be my favourite new snack, because of the small remaining parts and, of course, because of the appearance of the little monsters. 

In my opinion, insects can be the food of the future, but it will take some time. Might even take a lot of time -it's still a little bit weird and creepy. But it will be a good idea to develop ideas on how to eat them in a pleasant way, and I think the website DeliBugs is doing a good job by taking a lead in this. 

Did you try to eat insects? What is your experience? And do you think that people are going to eat them more in the future? Let us know!

xx Ivanna

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