Would you (knowingly) eat bugs, mes amis? No, me neither, but reading a recent issue of the New Yorker, I was gripped by an article on entomophagy, or insect consumption. Fans of creepy-crawly cuisine view bugs as a new source of protein, an alternative to meat with a very, very small ecological footprint.
As the article says, much of the world eats bugs, including witchetty grubs in Australia, tarantulas in Venezuela and grasshoppers in Oaxaca, Mexico. When I lived in Beijing, fried scorpion on a stick was a popular snack at the Night Market, but I always dismissed it as touristy, created for the shock value and little else.
I’m not sure the article convinced me to head to the nearest bug supplier to pick up a bag of crickets. But it has made me curious about trying certain insects like escamoles, or ant’s eggs, a Mexican delicacy since the Aztecs. How about you, mes amis? Would you tuck in to a plate of butter-browned mealworms?
P.S. I noticed that one of the chefs featured in the article, Laurent Quenioux, will be a contestant on the upcoming season of Top Chef Texas.