Posts Tagged ‘Eat-A-Book Cookbook’

From Cringe to Crave… Video of my Ignite presentation, with alternate ending…

October 22, 2014

A few weeks ago, I went onstage at the High Noon Saloon to deliver an Ignite presentation (20 slides in 5 minutes) on the theme of “Attainable Sustainable.” I spoke very quickly about how I overcome my aversion to eating a very attainable and sustainable (but not commonly appreciated) food…

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I think it turned out pretty well. I had a lot to cram in there, and there was way more left out than put in. I’ve been writing a lot about entomophagy recently. (My first draft was over an hour long.)

Also, my last slide (slide #20) did not make it. In the moment, I panicked thinking I miscounted my slides, so I ended abruptly. But I didn’t miscount. My slides were cut short due to a technical issue with the computer.

So in the spirit of a Quantum-Leap/Back-To-The-Future-type ambition to put right what once went wrong, I will go through how I would have wanted it to end.

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…Now I encourage you all to take your own journeys. Because eating bugs is not so weird, most of the world already does it. And it’s sustainable and paleo, and kosher, and gluten free, and no more grosser than many things we eat now.

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And there are now bars with cricket protein, and a cricket flour you can bake with, and resources with the Eat-a-Bug Cookbook and Daniella Martin’s Edible.

It’s just a matter over that cultural aversion. As with a lot of things we wouldn’t normally do–like karaoke, giving an Ignite presentations–a little alcohol helps

I wanted to conclude by making clear that there are way more palatable edible insect foods out there now than what I made with my own cooking, like energy bars from Exo and Chapul, savory snacks from Don Bugito,  candies from Hotlix, and cool flour and baked goods from Bitty Foods.

Many thanks to the folks at Ignite and Sustain Dane for putting together such a cool night of folks talking sustainability from a variety of fun and unique angles. Check them all out here.

And also thanks to Cheri Schweitzer, top-notch Madison restaurant consultant of Credible Consulting, food safety expert, and instructor for WWBIC’s very worthwhile “Business Planning for Your Food Business,” who recommended I try to do this thing.

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Why Eat Bugs #8: Great For Gatherings!

August 22, 2014

I hosted my first “bug night” to test whether edible bugs are a good addition to a social gathering.

I invited over a small group of four friends who were game, and one very supportive girlfriend.

To prepare, I visited PetSmart again. In addition to the wax moth larvae I’ve already successfully experimented with privately, I grabbed a few boxes of live crickets and superworms.

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It’s oddly pleasant to travel with cricket song inside your car.

I also bought a lot of alcohol.

I was getting pretty excited putting together the menu and working with all these new ingredients. In my enthusiasm, I sent out a pic to my guests in advance of the event.

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I do not advise this.

Guest reactions ranged from backtracking to reluctant acceptance. For example…

  • “So is eating bugs mandatory tonight? I may just stick to the wine.”
  • “Jesus… I’m gonna have to be all kinds of messed up to eat that, like Tyrone Biggums on Fear factor kind of messed up.”
  • “I’m still in….I’m sure I’ve eaten worse in my life.”
  • “Still in as well [crybaby emoticon]”

Nonetheless, they all showed up.

In addition to items that unintentionally had bugs in them (guacamole, salsa, chips), the menu also included:

  • Cricket Leather: From Daniella Martin’s Edible, a fruit roll-up type of thing made of apple, cranberry, honey, and cricket flour (roasted and ground crickets).

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  • Cricket Canape: Also from Daniella Martin’s Edible, an aesthetically-compelling hors d’oeuvre of a lightly-fried fresh fig, goat cheese ball, and topped with a more-fried cricket.

 

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  • Wax Moth Larvae Tacos: Again, inspired by the Don Bugito food cart in San FranciscoI’m getting pretty good with this one.

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  • Crickets on a Log: My own quasi-literal interpretation of the childhood treat with celery, peanut butter and chocolate -covered crickets.

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As guests arrived, some felt they were taking a big step by joining the party. Here’s one literally taking that step, with a six-pack in hand…

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There was giddy excitement as everyone gathered around the table filled with bugged treats…or I could have been projecting my own giddy excitement. Nonetheless,  the table setting did attract attention. Many pics taken and posted.

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And all items were enjoyed, for the most part. The cricket leather and wax moth larvae tacos were hits.

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Although I thought it would be a harder sell,  the superworm tempura also went over well. All were eaten. However, a guest remarked that one puffed-up worm exploded in his mouth, surprising him and making it hard for him continue to chew. For future reference, give your guests warning of potential juicy bursts.

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I thought the canapes were the most aesthetically awesome. But with the in-your-face cricket garnish, they were the least indulged in. As the night wore on–even after several drinks–everything was eaten but for 2 lonely figs.

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“You’re lucky I like goat cheese so much.”

Edible insect do indeed make for a nice addition to a gathering. Although, you do need to gently prepare your guests and be careful how you manage the evening. And alcohol helps. Nonetheless, great conversations were had, fun pics were taken. Have a bug night, too!