Heat some vegetable oil, fry the locusts, add sugar for caramelisation, let them cool off and dip them in chocolate. Voilà your afternoon snack. But don’t forget to take off the wings first, they might get stuck between your teeth.
Recipe: Mealworm muffins
Make the muffin batter as usual. Spread the mealworms out on a baking tray and lightly toast them in the oven for 15 minutes. Scoop the mealworms through the batter. Fill cupcake forms with the batter and bake for another 15 minutes or until golden brown. Decorate with icing.
by Mirjam van den Berg
Eating insects is still a bridge too far for many people, especially in Western cultures. “But,” argues cook Henk van Gurp, who has been using insects in his recipes for some 20 years, “They're an excellent source of proteins. Besides, in many countries fried larvae are a delicacy. And secretly, insects are already being used in a lot of food, only the manufacturer prefers to call them ‘animal proteins’, not mealworms.”
Easy to breed
Meat production currently takes up 70% of the world’s agricultural land. With the world population increasing and the demand for animal proteins growing, insects could very well be a sustainable solution. Over 1800 species of insects are suitable for human consumption.
They’re relatively easy to breed and low maintenance: producing one kilo of ‘insect meat’ only takes one twelfth of the food you’d need to produce a kilo of beef. On top of that, insects pollute a lot less than pigs or chicken.
But how do you prepare mealworm muffins? What goes well with grasshopper? To tackle those issues, Dutch cook Henk van Gurp wrote the Insect Cookbook. To give the Dutch a taste of the culinary delights the world of insects hides, Van Gurp accompanied his book launch with the world’s biggest locust cake, mealworm muffins and and a fine selection of insect chocolates.
Finally, a word of warning: the creepy crawlers you find in your back garden are not the ones to put in tonight’s salad; all the pesticides we use make them hard to digest.