It took a while, but eating raw fish is now very mainstream. Sushi was first introduced sometime in the 80’s. A bit icky at first, but thanks to a neat westernization of the art form in California, avocado’s served as a stepping stone towards the cold fleshiness of raw fish. The point is, over time, we can grow to accept eating foods that seem uncomfortable. Eating sushi was a metropolitan badge of cool during the go-go 80’s when board rooms where filled with fat cats doing coke, and every beer commercial featured a party girl in a bikini and a red sports car. Sushi is the polar opposite of all of that. It’s clean, beautiful, and the delicate rice vinegar used to season the rice is a far cry from spicy buffalo sauce. Sushi stuck around, while the 80’s did not. It’s now in our supermarkets and a feature of many a good sit-in restaurant. OK – then what is this about?—well, crickets.
The UN recently said that eating bugs will help us fight world hunger. I heard a story recently on NPR where the UN went as far as hosting a bug tasting that featured cricket sashimi and other yummy appetizers. I’m not too mad about not receiving an invite to that event. I’m more curious about who the brave chef will be that will put stink bugs on their menu and help westernize the cricket.
Entomophagy is the study of eating insects. The UN reports that over 2 million people eat insects around the world and is very high in protein
But this is a bit different from sushi. Where sushi is artistic in presentation, stink bugs probably aren’t. And from what I’ve read thus far, bugs don’t taste very good either. Making the cricket mainstream will have to do a lot with perception hijacking our senses. And nothing does that better than whatever it is that we perceive to be cool. Some brave person will have to make the cricket delectably cool.
Cool comes in waves and usually begins in dirty places. And just like sushi was the opposite of all things 80’s, crickets are the opposite of all things today. It just doesn’t seem to fit within the Googley white-space of our perfectly auto-tuned society. This movement won’t come from the UN telling us that bugs are a fantastic source of protein. It won’t come from some celebrity chef trying to be shocking on some half-baked cooking show. This will most likely come from the Pabst Blue Ribbon crowd asking for a cricket salad in a dirty hipster gastro-pub.
If your curious about preparing some bugs your own and being a harbinger of cool, here are two blogs that will give you some yummy crawler recipes and ideas.
I can see it already, cricket sashimi, cricket flambe, cricket ice cream, cricket a la mode, cricket sundae, cricket fricassee, cricket risotto, cricket pancakes, cricket o’s cereal….you get the idea. Now we just have to start getting used to it.