Category Archives: Food

Bug bread

The Guardian reports that a Finnish bakery has launched world’s first insect-based bread.

The bread, made using flour ground from dried crickets as well as wheat flour and seeds, has more protein than normal wheat bread. Each loaf contains about 70 crickets and costs €3.99 (£3.55), compared with €2-3 for a regular wheat loaf.

“It offers consumers a good protein source and also gives them an easy way to familiarise themselves with insect based food,” said Juhani Sibakov, the head of innovation at the bakery firm Fazer.

I have previously mentioned insects as a food source, and have even eaten several inset burgers. So it should come as no surprise that I think the idea of making bread out of bugs is a very good idea indeed.

I do think that innovations like this are the way to encourage Europeans to become more comfortable with the idea of insects as food. This is a good thing for a number of reasons, not least of which is that insects are a much less environmentally damaging source of protein than the large mammals we currently eat.

It seems to have gone down quite well as well:

“I don’t taste the difference … It tastes like bread,” said Sara Koivisto, a student from Helsinki, after trying the product.

Now, where’s my Marmite?

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Pizza in the sun

Some time ago our barbeque finally collapsed. We’d had it for a good many years and, although it was badly rusted in places, we had hoped to keep it going for one more year. I can’t complain, but it would have been a little less panic inducing if the collapse had happened when it hadn’t been full of hot charcoal.

We replaced it, and quite quickly, with another similar one. When we did so, we also treated ourselves to a combined fire-pit, barbeque, and pizza oven.

We have used it as a fire-pit several times already. When stuffed with wood it does a rather good job of keeping the terrace warm as the evening starts to cool.

Yesterday, we had a go at making pizza on it. The result was really rather tasty.

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The future of food

It's not a bug, it's a feature.

It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

Last year I mentioned that the Olmense Zoo (which is handily close to us) now has insectburgers on the menu. And on Saturday we were in the zoo at lunchtime, so I gave one a try.

It’s really rather good.

The texture is very meaty. So much so that, if it wasn’t for all the signs promoting the fact that the burger is made of mealworms, I probably wouldn’t have realised there was anything out of the ordinary about it at all.

The taste of the burger is not particularly strong, and pretty much overwhelmed by the barbecue sauce that was included with the burger. It’s certainly not unpleasant, it’s just not much of anything.

Of course, the crucial question with something like this is: would I eat it again. The answer is a resounding yes.

Insects are high in protein and a lot less fatty than beef and pork, they can also provide an equivalent protein yield for far fewer resources. The only downside is cultural – we, in the west are not used to eating insects and tend to have a ‘yuck’ response when faced with the idea. Serving them as a burger gets around this very neatly indeed.

Now all the world needs is a for someone to invent the chili con mealworm.

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Insect Burgers

Yesterday, we took a trip to the zoo. It’s handily close and we were able to go by bike and, after much wondering, we stopped for ice cream. While there, I noticed a large sight in the zoo’s restaurant advertising Insect Burgers as a tasty alternative to meat and fish. This struck me as quite a good idea.

Much has been said about insects being a much more efficient source of protein than raising large animals, but many people react to this with a “Yuck”. Grinding the bugs up and turning them into burgers gets around this quite nicely – a burger is a burger and there isn’t much in a protein patty for most people to object to.

I mentioned this on the Fediverse and that triggered a discussion that was both lengthy and interesting and managed to derail it self into total tripe.

Wanting to know a bit more, I took an online look around this morning and found this (in Dutch).

The Olmense Zoo started serving insect burgers in March of this year and, from the article, it looks like the people behind the burgers were thinking what I thought when I saw them. According to Robby Van der Velden, a biologist at the zoo, insects are high in protein and a lot less fatty than meats such as pork and beef. Although eating insects is not obvious in western society, it can certainly catch on if the meat is processed.

Van der Velden also makes the point about insects requiring much less environmental resources and provides some numbers: To produce a kilo of beef, you need 14 kilos of grass, while a kilo of insect meat only needs about two kilos of grass to produce.

It was too late in the day, yesterday, for me to give this a try. But when we go again, and if we are there at lunchtime (which is highly likely) I will certainly order an insect burger, just to see what it’s like.

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Cherry Enchilada

Long ago, after much experimenting with tortillas and tinned cherries, I came up with what may be the most delicious dessert ever invented. Then I lost my hastily screwled notes.

While going through some old papers, I found my recipe for Cherry Enchiladas and, to avoid losing it again, I’m posting it here.

Serves 4

You will need

  • Two tins of cherries
  • 4 large flour tortillas
  • 2g ground cinnamon
  • 50g margerine
  • 65g white sugar
  • 75g brown sugar
  • 80ml water

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C.
  2. Spread the cherries evenly over the tortillas and sprinkle with cinnamon
  3. Roll the tortillas and place them, seam side down on aluminium foil. You need enough foil to wrap each tortilla individually, but don’t wrap them yet.
  4. Tip the margerine, sugar and water into a medium saucepan and bring to boil. Turn the heat down and simmer, stirring constantly, until the goo is reasonably thick (takes 3 – 5 minutes)
  5. Pour the goo evenly over the tortillas. If you have any cinnamon left over, sprinkle it on top.
  6. Finish wrapping the tortillas in the aluminium foil and put them in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes
  7. Eat immediately

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