Eating insects, arachnids and myriapods is one thing, but turning bug recipes into culinary masterpieces is something completely different. Each insect species have unique cooking requirements and this is why we reached out to Mr David Gordon a.k.a. The Bug Chef for some tips and tricks.
Q: Hello, Mr. Gordon, why did you decide to start cooking with insects and how did you learn?
A: “I became intrigued with this topic in 1996, after writing a book called “The Compleat Cockroach”. I started wondering about why our Western cultures don’t eat insects, when the rest of the world does. That investigation led to my Eat-a-Bug Cookbook, which was published in 1998 by Ten Speed Press, The book has 40 recipes in it, using everything from ants and termites to grasshoppers, scorpions and tarantula spiders.
Soon after the book’s release, I started giving bug-cooking demonstrations as The Bug Chef. I’ve since done programs in 37 states and several foreign countries. Last year, I catered the Explorers Club Annual Dinner in New York, where I fed edible arthropods to more than 1,000 adventurous guests”.
Q: Would you share with us what is your most favourite recipe with insects?
A: “With 40 recipes to choose from, picking my favorite is not an easy task. But I think my recipe for Orthopteran Orzo (cricket nymphs and orzo pasta) is among the best. I like to use cricket nymphs because they don’t have their wings yet, so they’re more tender than the adults—sort of like veal. In one instance, I had a kid come back for fifths of this dish. When I asked
him if his parents weren’t feeding him at home, he replied, “This is way better than anything my mom makes”.
Q: What ingredients are required to prepare it? May we have a more detailed description on how it is prepared as many of our readers might actually decide to try it out?
How The Bug Chef Prepares The Orthopteran Orzo
Q: Any other additional tips regarding the meal such as (how and when it should be consumed; what drink pairs with insect delicacies)?
A: “I think the Orthopteran Orzo is a good main course, served with grasshopper kabobs, Scorpion scaloppine or other treats. I have a section in my book about wine pairings—in general, you want to choose a wine that will not overpower the subtle flavor of the bugs. I recommend a crisp chardonnay or sauvignon blanc for this particular dish”.
Insects as Food Source
Q: Last but not least. Would you, please give us your opinion on entomophagy (do you recommend it, is it really that healthy, or it’s overrated and can be easily replaced with ordinary meals)?
A: “In 2013, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN released a large report, discussing how, as our planet’s human population continues to grow, we will need to look at alternative sources of protein. That will mean farming insects, which are both rich in protein and full of vitamins and minerals. Plus, they require much less in the way of food and water than other protein sources such as cattle or pigs. (Did you know that it takes about 1,800 gallons of water to produce one pound of
I think interest in entomophagy (the practice of eating insects) is in many ways related to our desire to reduce our environmental impacts to the earth. While it’s hard to predict food trends, I suggest that all of your readers give it a try. Bug-eating is likely to become the wave of the future.