Weird food: Curry flavoured crickets and barbecue meal worms
Pint of lager? Check. G&T? Check. Bags of Doritos? Check. Insect snacks?
OK, so crunchy baked crickets (acheta domestica) in a thai green curry seasoning and baked, barbecue meal worms (Tenebrio Molitor) aren’t your average pub snack but that’s what I’ve brought with me to Westow House in Crystal Palace, London to be sampled by my team of tasters.
It’s a great venue with draping curtains, wrought iron shelves and orange papered feature walls but, as usual, it’s pouring with rain outside so I’ve brought the exotic with me.
Acquired from gift website Firebox, these insect snacks come in smart cellophane packets with black labels so they look like artisan ingredients from a posh deli. Baked not fried, they’re a healthy alternative to crisps.
The key to enjoying these snacks is not too look to closely. Otherwise, it’s hard not to balk at the brown, shiny segmented bodies of the worms or the spindly greeny-grey legs of the crickets.
‘Wow, the flavour packs a punch,’ Marie, one of my tasters says, popping a curry-flavoured cricket in her mouth. ‘Dry and crispy, like a wheat snack.’
The mealworms aren’t quite as popular.
‘I keep getting them stuck in my teeth,’ taster Mike moans. ‘And it creeps me out to think they’re bugs.’
Like the deep fried locusts and crickets I tried in my blogpost Death by Chocolate they taste nice once you’ve got over the cultural conditioning that it’s strange to eat insects.
I don’t think I’ll be switching Kettle Chips for insect snacks any time soon but if the world runs out of food as scientists are suggesting will happen by 2050, they’re not a bad alternative.
Insect snacks are priced at £6.99 for a pack of two from http://www.firebox.com