Insects in fine-dining?

Insects are an excellent source of pure protein. They are free of hormones, growth promoters, and other substances that we use in animal husbandry. It is worth noting that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that insects are part of the traditional diet of at least two billion people, with more than 1,900 edible species recorded. Worm farming uses at least 10 times less water and energy than meat production. Up to 80 percent of the insect’s body is edible. With the idea of global sustainable development, we are increasingly paying attention to the meat diet and its impact on the environment and health. Therefore, the more we will convince ourselves to insects on the plates?

photo: @rest_quintonil

Mexican influence

In the kitchen of Jorge Vallejo, the Chef doesn’t treat insects as a living experiment conducted on guests. The chef composes his dishes with great knowledge and care. He talks with passion about bugs, which are a component and equivalent part of the dish. Most importantly, he does not treat them as curiosities. Based on the knowledge of the culinary history of Mexico and the use of insects found in that region, the Chef presents the modern face of fine dining.

In one of his dishes he used crickets – also called “azcamolli” or “maicitos”. These insects have soft and very delicate taste. They are a unique delicacy eaten in Mexico. In his dish, chef Vallejo combined crickets with avocado tartare and some crispy quelites (plants eaten fresh as leaf vegetables or herbs). On his Instagram, you will find many different varieties of bugs and a detailed explanation of the occurrence and values – proteins, amino acids, etc.

Thai approach

On the other side of the globe, we can taste insects in the Thai edition. This country is famous for its restaurants of every course, and every cuisine. Therefore, it is not surprising that we can learn the approach to bugs from Thai Chefs.

photo: @insectsinthebackyard

Chef Surasit Buttama shows how freely you can use larvae, crickets, beetles, or grasshoppers in the kitchen, both as a decoration, but also as the main element of the dish. In his restaurant Insects in the Backyard, insects are a basic element. They are subtly woven into well-known compositions – scallops with Jerusalem artichokes, ravioli with turmeric saffron sauce, and grilled seabass with blackened corn salsa. In this edition, insects give a twist and are the unforgettable element that, when properly selected, can give a completely different direction to the dish. 

Fashion changes, and trends pass, but for several years chefs have been trying to change the face of global gastronomy. Cheeks and other offal have been disenchanted, when they were served in fine-dining versions. Maybe insects will also experience their golden age and change the face of world gastronomy.

What do you think about it and have you tried insects yet?



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