Would you eat soup made from crickets?
Would you eat soup made from crickets? A participant tries an hors d'oeuvres made with insects at a seminar at Le Cordon Bleu's cooking school in Bangkok, Thailand. At left is a bowl of a cockchafers and large beetles (AP photos)
Would you eat soup made from crickets?
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Would you eat a bug? How about putting them in your soup?

Bugs in a kitchen are usually something to be squashed or swatted. But not always at Le Cordon Bleu, the French cooking school. Chefs and food scientists spent a week simmering, sauteing and grilling insects. The chefs wanted to extract innovative flavors. They say it could open a new frontier for eating.

As a finale to their research, the school's Bangkok branch held a seminar. It was called "Edible Insects in a Gastronomic Context." It was booked up weeks in advance. The event in Thailand included lectures and a tasting menu for 60 participants. They were a mix of student chefs, scientists, professors and insect farmers.

First came a vial of ant-infused gin. That was followed by a shot glass of warm cricket consomme. Next came an hors d'oeuvre of cockchafer butter and herb crisp. A cockchafer could be mistaken for a water bug. But in fact its a giant beetle.

The insects were not visible in the final products. They are artfully hidden. The bugs were pureed into batters. Their juices were extracted for essence.

Getting hungry yet?

"We didn't want to just put a bug on a salad and say, 'Voila!' We wanted to know, can we extract interesting flavors, new textures, aromas and turn it into something delicious?" said Christophe Mercier. He helped organize the event in the Thai capital.

"This is the first time that insects have been granted access to the Cordon Bleu," Mercier said with a smile. He added that the 120-year-old Paris-based school had never to his knowledge held a workshop quite like this.

At the school's entrance, a welcome table was decorated with tropical flowers and bowls of bugs. There were crickets, silk worms, bamboo worms. There were also live water bugs as big as a toddler's hand.

The idea for the event was inspired by eating habits in Southeast Asia. In Thailand and neighboring countries, many people eat fried insects as snacks.

It was the gin that helped win over the chefs.

"Some things were very impressive. And some things were very bizarre," said Fabrice Danniel, master chef at Bangkok's Cordon Bleu. "The taste of the alcohol was amazing. It's more than alcohol. The taste was unique."

A Cordon Bleu chef, Christian May, admitted that he was initially repulsed by the intense aroma of the grilled crickets for the broth. He encouraged his colleagues not to demonstrate for the seminar how the consomme was made. Just serve it elegantly on trays, which they did.

"It tasted good. You just have to remove the image of the insect from your mind," he said.

He noted that this will be the biggest challenge if and when insects go mainstream in Western cuisine. Before that happens, more research is needed. It's not clear if serving insects is legal in all Western countries. Proper hygiene needs to be ensured at insect farms. There are also safety concerns.

In Thailand alone, there are 200 species of insects eaten as food, said Patrick Durst. He is a senior official with the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. He co-authored a study on Thailand's edible insect industry.

To people who frown on eating bugs, he says this: "Take a look at shrimp. What an ugly creature. Is it any more attractive than a grasshopper?"

Critical thinking challenge: Why did Christian May discourage colleagues from demonstrating how the bug-based consomme was made?

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/junior/would-you-eat-soup-made-crickets/

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COMMENTS (22)
  • santij-Nim
    3/03/2015 - 03:28 p.m.

    this is the nastes story i have ever seen because it haves bug.and i will never go to asia

  • willek-Nim
    3/03/2015 - 03:30 p.m.

    I think this story is is really good it is makeing me super hungrey you know what i`m saying! I think you should go to Thailand and eat some delicous bugs it will be worth the trip JAZZ HANDS!

  • obeida-Nim
    3/03/2015 - 03:31 p.m.

    i thote the story was gross and i never eat bugs and i am never going to asia

  • martit-Nim
    3/03/2015 - 03:32 p.m.

    I think udot this story is it is rilly good evin if this story is deskosting .

  • Tiffany0307-yyca
    4/08/2015 - 09:47 p.m.

    Yuck!! It looks really disgusting. Well, first of all, I can get sick. Second of all, I also think that eating bugs are so nasty! Ugh! My mom would barf and so would I. Why would anyone want to eat that? Oh, well, except for people who don't have homes and they really need food. It's kind of strange because how can people enjoy eating bugs?! And thinking they're delicious??!! Anyways, I don't really think that it is right to eat bugs like that. I think that it is just unnecessary for this sort of thing. Although people love it.
    Critical Thinking Challenge: Why did Christian May discourage colleagues from demonstrating how the bug-based consomme was made?
    Answer: Well, it's obvious that it is disgusting and that it will make you very sick. But it might be that he doesn't want people breaking the law and he thinks that serving people bugs are necessary in the law.

  • KateM-Kut
    4/29/2015 - 09:48 p.m.

    I would hate having crickets in my soup. But cordon Bleu, the french cooking school. They spend weeks simmering and grilling insects. The chef wants to extract different flavors. I think that this could be some thing that a lot of people would start eating because i have read some where else that insects are good for you.

  • annabel1226-yyca
    6/18/2015 - 07:29 p.m.

    Eww. That is disgusting. Why would anyone eat a bug. If I were one of the students I would call the cops. How does it taste good? Right now it makes me want to throw-up.

  • John0724-YYCA
    7/15/2015 - 01:15 p.m.

    REBUTTAL:
    Annabel I really disagree with your comment because a lot of people out there are eating bugs because for them it taste really good for them and in your other article you said you wanted to eat a cockroach so why are you so against bugs now. Also it would be really stupid of you calling the cops because that is just really stupid. Why would you call the cops about eating bugs because a lot of people like to eat bugs and I bet when you call the police they are just going to leave you alone.

  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    7/27/2015 - 01:36 p.m.

    REBUTTAL:
    Annabel, it is disgusting in your eyes but in the other person's eyes the insects are delicious. If you were one of the students, then you would eat it instead of calling the cops because you would think that it would taste good. I don't know how it tastes good but I would eat it.

  • Jason0421-YYCA
    7/30/2015 - 01:12 p.m.

    REBUTTAL:
    Annabel, I disagree with you that eating bugs are disgusting. I think that it is really messed up for you to say it is disgusting to est bugs since many Africans have to eat bugs. Even if the Africans don't want to eat it they don't have any money so they have to. Even if you were a student what are the chances of you calling a police and saying, "I'm eating a bug, help me!". I think that the police would end the call and think that you are an insane girl eating bugs.

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