'There's a fly in my soup': Cape Town eatery serves grub made from bugs

Chef Mario Barnard of The Insect Experience is hoping to 'change the view that eating insects is gross by presenting the food in a visually appealing way'

07 July 2019 - 00:00 By KANE HODGEN
Believe it or not, these delicious croquettes are made from insects.
Believe it or not, these delicious croquettes are made from insects.
Image: Gourmet Grubb/Instagram

"Waiter, there's a fly in my soup" won't get you far at SA's first restaurant to put bugs at the heart of its menu.

Welcome to The Insect Experience, newly launched at a co-working and socialising space in Woodstock, Cape Town.

Lunch could be pasta pesto (the tagliatelle made with flour milled from black soldier fly larvae and the parmesan replaced by maggot cheese) followed by a honey-cashew brittle (topped with dehydrated maggots).

Not your cup of tea? Then try the polenta fries made from mopane caterpillars. When you get that cup of tea, try it with EntoMilk, made from more of those maggots.

The Insect Experience is one of several pop-up food outlets at GOODWoodstock, where chef Mario Barnard is helping food manufacturer Gourmet Grubb expand its range of insect products beyond the ice-cream it launched in 2018.

Entomophagy - eating insects - is not only the next big thing in gourmet dining, it could even save the world.

Scientists in the UK said a rapidly changing climate and expanding human population were serious risks for food security, but insects were a highly nutritional and a sustainable source of protein.

I hope to change the view that eating insects is gross
Mario Barnard

According to Barnard, insects contain 20% more protein than chicken and 18% more than beef, and EntoMilk contains far more calcium than normal milk.

"I hope to change the view that eating insects is gross by presenting the food in a visually appealing way," he said.

Insect consumption is predicted to increase by 24% between 2018 and 2023, and Barnard said: "It's the way of the future, a new superfood."

Research just published in the journal Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Safety said commercialisation and processing techniques that focus on the preferences of the younger generation are the best way to normalise edible insects.

"In some European countries consumers, particularly young adults, have shown interest in new food products that use insects in unrecognisable form, such as flour or powder used in cookies or energy drinks," said scientists at the University of Leeds.


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