Dutch Insect Cookbook Will Have You Eat Bugs

Some people will eat anything that moves or even crawls. While the rest of us are wrinkling our noses at them, they’re actually at an advantage, because insects are considered to be very rich in proteins. A group of Dutch insect munchers love their creepy crawly snacks so much they’re releasing a special Insect Cookbook, next week. Their creation is said to be dedicated to promoting insects as a great source of nourishment. I haven’t read it myself, but I’ve heard it contains some pretty unique recipes like how to add worms to your chocolate muffin mix, or grasshoppers on a mushroom risotto.

For obvious reasons, many people aren’t too enthusiastic about the Insect Cookbook, but a few feel that it couldn’t be coming out at a better time. According to Marcel Dicke, a professor at Wageningen University, the world population is expected to hit 9 billion by 2050, and there may not be sufficient land to raise livestock that meets everybody’s needs. We might just have to turn to bugs as a protein alternative. The university also said the nutritional value of insects is quite similar to that of meat, and it is more environmentally friendly to raise insects instead of livestock. “I see this as the next step towards the introduction of insects on restaurant menus in the Netherlands. I also expect people to buy the book and start cooking with insects at home,” says Dicke. However, he does admit that there might be some resistance towards insect foods, especially from the countries where people consume large portions of meat.

Photo: Michael Kooren/REUTERS

For the launch of the book, Henk van Gulp, a Dutch chef who specializes in insect recipes, is planning to bake the world’s biggest grasshopper pie. There’s also a restaurant in the town of Haarlem, Spectakel, where a five-course menu of insect dishes was served in the past month. One of this month’s specials is meat pie sprinkled with nuts, seeds, and of course, worms. Even so, Spectakel’s chef, Mark Van Kimmenaede, doesn’t think insect food is going to take off too soon and the peculiar taste of insects is to blame for this. “It does not go well with fish, for example,” he says. “It is nice to have one or two dishes with insects on the menu, but it has to stay fun.” Perhaps the chef does not realize that the Chinese could be his biggest customers. They serve all kinds of creepy crawlers as fast food.

Photo: Michael Kooren/REUTERS

Insect-based cuisine isn’t something new. According to Daniella Martin, the host of web-based cooking show Girl Eats Bug, 80% of the world’s cultures eat bugs. I think that may be a slight exaggeration on her part, but if this cookbook becomes a hit, we might see a growing interest in these crunchy delicacies.

 

Source: Reuters


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