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The dishes made with insects enter European cuisine

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Despite being a rather widespread practice in the old continent, countries like Mexico or Colombia pride themselves on eating insects from time immemorial as these are an important source of protein.

At first it may sound weird, surprising and even amazing, but if you think about it… Why not? Is it worse to eat insects or snails prawns? The answer lies in oneself as a matter of culture and thought. While We are taught to eat pork or beef is normal, other inculcate the Escamoles, Mount bugs or grasshoppers are authentic delicacies.

It is impossible to reach a global agreement on what should or should not eat so it's smarter to get in the opposite place to find answers.

For the UN food based insect is cheap, sustainable and nutritious

Much of the world's population and practice what is known as entomofagia or consumption of insects, nothing more and nothing less than 2.000 millions of people. While most are forced by necessity; there are many others who enjoy what for them is a delicacy, A delight for the palate.

The FAO, an agency of the United Nations, He has spent several years trying to get the first world chefs use their creativity and promote the intake of insects among the most skeptical so that they no longer see it as something exotic. And you can say that in some European countries have taken good account of it, well important leaders They have managed to launch restaurants where insects are the undisputed protagonists of the letter.

Britain opens its first restaurant insect

Just a few months ago Andy Holcroft inaugurated in southwest Wales the only restaurant in British territory, Until now, primarily serving elaborate dishes with insects. Under the name of Grub Kitchen, something like “Larvae kitchen”, an establishment whose chef aims to change the opinion of his countrymen and make them see the benefits of eating insects may report hides; And the Holcroft himself has commissioned in recent years to investigate the principles of entomofagia, becoming one of its great defenders.

This acquired knowledge is transferred to the kitchen to prepare unique dishes such as the tomato soup with roasted red peppers and grasshoppers crumbs passed by garlic, he seasonal vegetable fritter with crickets and worms in red wine sauce or one of the most acclaimed: the Larvae burger, crickets and grasshoppers served with polenta and garlic mayonnaise and ants.

It may sound weird but all diners Grub Kitchen leave more than satisfied, and not only that but the inflow is much higher than expected at first. “If you explain to people in an entertaining and informative way that insects are eaten all over the world, more people will be inclined to try”, comments Peter Smithers, research associate at the University of Plymouth.

Everyone agrees delight representing this experience while tested ingredients that most do not use, but not everyone is so brave: it sometimes happens that certain customers balk at the last minute to eat bugs and they opt for more traditional alternatives that also offers Andy Holcroft.

Entomofagia in Spain

The first thing we need to know about this issue is that in our country there is a loophole that, on the one hand it prohibits selling consumer insects but, on the contrary allowed to serve these bugs in restaurants -they are forced to buy them at markets foreign-. Britain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands are the only European states that can boast of having a law that regulates trade in insects for human consumption. In any case, despite the governmental obstacles there are several Spanish restaurants that prepare dishes with all kinds of insects.

Spanish restaurants serve insects and

1. One of the pioneers was The Merindad de Olite, located in Tudela and directed by Patxi grinding guipuzcoano, whose imagination led him to find an important source of inspiration in the kitchen insect. Initially introduced as a simple grinding the appetizers but before the reception began to serve customers with a tasting menu.

Such was his commitment to this initiative that placed them at the same level as other entrees such as ham. A) Yes, dishes like nettle soup with couscous and crickets; salad lettuce hearts Tudela with grasshoppers, irons, scorpion worms and toasted or fried rice with silkworm pupae and house cricket They became safe bets for diners.

2. point MX, in Madrid, It has the honor of being the first Mexican restaurant in Europe with a Michelin star. his chef, Roberto Ruiz, He has always tried to surprise the customer with the best recipes of traditional cuisine of his country and it has been. A desire to innovate has led to experiment with dishes hitherto unknown within our borders: Escamoles or ant eggs.

Ruiz He opted for the variety and offered two totally different ways; originally inspired, served in a taco with epazote and mountain Chile and the other Bilbao, fried in oil with garlic.

3. Cantina Machito, in Barcelona, It serves a lot of dishes in which include all kinds of bugs: crispy grasshoppers; ants; fried grasshoppers with chili, salt and lemon; mopane worms and one of the most acclaimed, grasshoppers, ahuautles and jumiles. Nevertheless, It is very similar to point MX as far as food is concerned because it serves not only insects but offers a completely different menu for lovers of Mexican culture in which no shortage tacos, pancakes, guacamole and soup malpeña, among many others.

The insects, more sweet

The new century brought numerous trends, one of them was-and remains- the Lollipops marketing inside which can be found insects like ants, scorpions, worms or crickets. One tidbit. They are very popular in countries like Thailand, Mexico, Japan or the United States. In Spain there was a unique selling point in the La Boqueria market, in Barcelona, Llorenc Petrás whose owner was also responsible for selling variety of insects for human consumption until Health in the year 2008 he forbade.

Nevertheless, it seems that entomofágicos are in luck after learning that the European Union and includes the insects as “new food” and regulate its production, marketing and consumption by the end of 2017. Predictably this will bring an increase in the number of restaurants that serve dishes with insects and will be the time for those who have not tried it do. We'll be able?

The dishes made with insects enter European cuisine
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About the Author

Jennifer Rey

He graduated in journalism from the University of Valladolid although Fabero (Lion). Working for many years in the hospitality sector. Futura expert in food journalism and everything related to restaurants, a world that fascinates. His other passions: rock and sports.

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2 Comments

    • Diego Coquillat

      hehe…thanks to you!. Today we seem rare dishes, but you know that this is a matter of time and fashion. If you ask other cultures by “delicious prawns” we think perhaps eat dishes that are very rare.

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