Would you ever try eating the edible bugs?
Over the last few years, there’s been a growing trend in the culinary world. However, it might be one that makes most people squeamish: edible bugs. While humans have been eating bugs for quite some time, it has only recently really started to gain traction in the United States and Western culture. More and more restaurants have started serving them. They’re cheap, taste like chicken, and pack quite the nutritional punch for their size.
There’s significant data to show that in many ways, bugs are a more-sustainable food source than many of our more conventional proteins. Crickets, for example, are nearly on par with milk and beef for protein per 100 grams. But, crickets do not take nearly the same amount of resources to raise and farm as a cow.
But if you’re going to feast like Timone and Pumba from The Lion King, you better start off with some high quality food. Unlike The Lion King, you might not want your first bugs to be from directly under a tree. Luckily, a pest control company (funnily enough) put together a list of some of the top restaurants in the United States that have bugs on the menu. Many of these have won awards or are up for awards. Each of them have at least one dish that contain bugs. Let’s take a look at them:
Nue is a global street food restaurant in Seattle, Washington. They pride themselves on creativity and “freakishly awesome food,” as they say. Their bug dish is Thai Mang Da Na, which they admit is for the adventurous. It’s a giant water beetle and according to their menu, the dish has intense flavors of fruit, flowers, candy, and salt.
Leña serves Latin American-inspired food with smile plates and cocktails. They’re in Denver, Colorado. Their bug dish is actually one of their cocktails, the Jiminy Cricket. It’s a tequila-based drink that has a candied cricket garnish. Maybe the drink is to finish the drink and then eat the garnish — after a few of these, it could be the best thing you’ve ever had.
Xochi is in Houston, Texas and features the ingredients, recipes, and traditions of Oaxaca, Mexico. It was recently named as a semifinalist for the James Beard award. Their insect dish is Queso del Rancho. It features not one, but three insects: worms, ants, and grasshoppers. So, if you’re feeling brave and want to experience more than one bug, this is the dish for you.
The Black Ant
It would make sense that a restaurant with ant in the name would serve insects. In fact, they have a number of dishes that involve bugs. They have a guac with black ant salt, grasshopper croquettes, and grasshopper crusted shrimps, just to name a few. If you want to try insects in a variety of ways, The Black Ant in NYC might be for you.
Sushi Mazi is a contemporary Japanese restaurant in Portland, Oregon. They’re insect dish is grasshopper sushi and that’s about all it says on their menu. However, the pictures help explain why that’s it. It’s a fairly basic sushi, much like a tuna roll or an eel roll but instead of fish, it’s a grasshopper. This could be a good dish if you want to get that authentic cricket flavor.
If you’re looking to trying something different, maybe you should check out the edible insect culinary trend. There are plenty of places serving them up and the above are just five of the highest rated. It might not seem appetizing at first, but with the quality of these dishes, you might just find yourself asking for more.