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Edible bugs, what do they look like ?

Appearance is one thing, taste is quite another

Aristotle couldn't stop talking when it came to tasting cicada nymphs. He thought them delicious. And Romans feasted on larval beetles at the time, too.

Historically, those who crossed cultural barriers and ate them would tell you: edible bugs, when choosed wisely and carefully prepared, are delicious. By social and cultural habits, we tend to find their appearance disgusting while we already consume animals not always aesthetic themselves like snails, frogs, squid, oysters and many others. And still, we got familiar with their shape and texture once in our mouth even if our first feeling at seeing them might not have been very encouraging.

Everything is a matter of perspective, of course. And people regularly eating bugs have been able to go beyond the initial fear and taboos simply because they perfectly understand their nutritional benefits as well as their culinary advantages. Scientific studies showed that 75% of Thai people consumed insects primarily due to their taste!

From disgust to love, the path is not so difficult and rather short. It is simply a matter of learning not to balk at everything new and pioneering in a society that is struggling to go beyond prejudices. Mind openness, curiosity and interest in new experiences are part of the necessary conditions to help you discover a fascinating world. The world is full of interesting and surprising foods. 

You do not want to be part of these culinary forerunners? You are not tempted to partake in some adventurous culinary journey? Of course, you do! So let's take a walk, together, right into the world of entomophages. A journey that will forever change your mind.


Ways and means to start eating edible bugs

To begin with, you will have to prepare yourself to fight against some automatic reflex ruling your brain and your behavior. Like seeing edible insects as unsavory beings. Programs such as Survivor or The Amazing Race, where you watch candidates on the verge of fainting before eating large palm worms or roasted tarantulas are not representative of what is entomophagy for the rest of the world. These are TV game shows in which candidates undergo trials in a state of extreme stress which does not allow them to take the time to enjoy these dishes for all the goodness they are. Therefore, you shouldn't give too much credits to these TV shows as they are carried out in a very particular context. Learning about bugs certainly can't hurt and will help you getting rid of some aversions pertaining to edible bugs.

A fun way to do it could be by buying some of our lollipops. A good way to get used at seeing an insect before eating it. You will see it through its sugary coating and as you eat your lollipop, your tongue will gradually touch it. This is only one way among many others to get used to the idea of eating bugs as a treat. But at Europe-entomophagy, we assure you this method has proven its worth.


Getting used at eating edible insects

You want to discover the wonderful flavors of some edible insects, but you want to do it slowly?

The best way is for you to start gradually. To ease your way into entomophagy by choosing insects both pleasing to the eye as well as tasty, such as mealworms or termites, which are easy to enjoy as snacks and that we already propose seasoned differently. Just make your choice based on what your inner feeling tells you to choose. It could also be smart to camouflage them, even partially, inside recipes like pancakes, cakes, cookies, ravioli, crepes, etc.

You should know there exist many ways to accommodate and cook edible insects as to make them even more appealing than they already are. Some prefer them plain and other fried in a pan or even baked in a oven. It's up to you.

Eating them plain or seasoned, in sweets or candies, there are numerous ways to enjoy them. You can cook them in all the courses of a meal, from appetizers to desserts where their texture can go from creamy to crunchy. Obviously, their taste will change depending on how they are cooked and prepared. Some will remind you of nuts (mealworms), other of pine nuts (wasps), apple or gorgonzola (bugs), beeswax or shrimp (caterpillars)...


What to remember

You shouldn't bow before clichés. Even as it might be easier said than done.

Watch snails, their appearance and texture will tell you that's not something you want to eat. Yet, when served with a delicious parsley butter and some garlic, have been able to gather quite some fans in France and Spain, where people are able to enjoy them because they taste good.

You should view eating bugs in the same way. Get used to look at them without prejudice. Your primary instinct will be to make you say " yuck!" But if you manage to overcome this first moment, you will then begin to think about them differently. And from there you will come to gradually add them into your diet. Like any other new food.

In the end, as you cook and make better dishes, your brain will no longer say "yuck" but "yum!" This is maybe a very simplistic way to see this, but it is nonetheless true, a repeatedly proven fact.

Did you know that in Europe, we already consume edible bugs without our knowledge? Yes, whether you like it or not, you have already swallowed and digested about 500g of insects this year only! Often found in processed foods, we consume some daily in products such as cereals, fruit juices, jams and bread. Insect residues are regularly found in breakfast or sandwich!

And you know the good news? You are still alive!