Posts Tagged ‘Fear Factor’

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!

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