Would you eat crickets in corn chips? Feasting on bugs may sound icky and gross to some, but beyond edible, bugs can actually – surprisingly, excitingly – be delicious. Yes, I’m Kaycee, and I’m a certified bug eater.
I remember the first time I tried eating insects in Bohol, Philippines, where they served deep-fried worms with garlic powder as a snack. How did it taste? Like crispy green peas. High in protein too!
Aside from worms, another edible bug is the humble cricket. In Australia, Circle Harvest develops insect proteins as a key nutritional ingredient for food and snacks – such as corn chips.
“Think about snacking on a bag of corn chips with more protein than an egg or devouring some delicious chocolate pancakes for breakfast that contain half of your daily iron intake; adding insect proteins to your diet doesn’t have to be scary,” challenges the company.
Edible insects as an alternative protein
The company was launched in 2007 by Sky Blackburn, an entomologist and food scientist passionate about sustainable food practices. He wanted to educate people that edible insects can be farmed as an eco-friendly alternative to protein and, when prepared properly, would not have the “yuck” factor.
The deep-fried worms I had in Bohol literally looked like worms, but the chips by Circle Harvest look like your regular corn chip.
Sky explained that their insect protein is farmed and processed for purpose, so they’re completely safe to eat.
“We convert the foods you already love, into nutrient-dense, sustainable versions,” he added.
What do edible insects taste like?
Different insects have different tastes, just as chicken, pork, and beef vary in flavour. One thing in common to them is having a “nutty” and “umami” taste. Most likely because most of their diet consists of fruits and vegetables – of course, let’s avoid eating insects from landfills whose diet consists of our trash!
Crickets are high-value alternative protein sources. In addition, they contain micronutrients, vitamins, fatty acids, three times more Omega 3 than spinach and twice as much Calcium as milk. It also has a complete amino acid profile, just like beef.
These crispy insects are also served deep-fried here in my country, sometimes dipped in vinegar, just like chicharron. I haven’t tried them in corn chips, but I definitely would if they were available!