There are infinite reasons you could be reading this, I’ll give you a few:
- You’re a bug enthusiast
- You’re one of my fans
- You’re into weird challenges
- You’re interested in entomophagy
- You’re my mother
Whatever the reason, I hope you’ll find what you’re looking for and that you will come back for more!
First things first, what is this “60 day bug challenge” and why am I doing this?
I’ve always loved animals, and in particular, the ones people don’t usually like: snakes, bats, spiders and bugs!
A couple of years ago, I came upon a TV show talking about entomophagy, at the time, I had never heard about such a thing, but I was immediately captivated, and the next day I went to the pet store to buy my own mealworms, but that’s another story.
We’ve been told a million times that loads of people already eat insects around the world, every time with huge numbers, and whether they are true or false doesn’t really matter, I just want to try it for myself.
Is it really any good ? That’s what we’re going to find out together over the next 2 months.
60 days is an appropriate amount of time to cover a wide variety of bugs, going from the basic crickets and mealworms to the more daring crawlers like pill-bugs and earthworms. I will be testing products from various companies around the world, bugs I bred myself, recipes to cook bugs yourselves and much more.
On a personal note, I love rating things from 1 to 10, so I will be rating everything I taste. This is of course very personal and everyone has their preferences, for example I hate spicy food.
In a couple of days I will announce a small contest for those who want to join me in this challenge!
You can find the links to every article at the bottom.
Before getting on with the challenge, I want to thank my partner Future Food Lab, a company in Korea who sent me enough cereal for the whole challenge, so I’ll be eating some every morning! You’ll hear more about them later on…
Day 1 : Chinese Market
This year I had the luck to spend Christmas with my father in China, so I am writing this article for you from the airport.
To be honest, I thought I wouldn’t find any insects here, so I had packed 2 insect-based protein bars, so I wouldn’t have to delay the challenge another day, but I found something much better!
Obviously not every day will be as crazy as this one, but this was an incredible start.
What could be more exciting than to find scorpions, cicadas and large butterfly pupae just before leaving the country ?
You’ll see, my face might seem weird, but I’m actually totally new to this, I’ve eaten a couple of mealworms and crickets here and there, but not much, this is taking my bug experience to a whole new level.
I know bugs are adventurous for a westerner like myself, but this market was filled with a number of other things I didn’t want to try, octopus or squid tentacles for example.
We usually say that eating insects is environmental friendly, but knowing that these ones are probably wild caught, today won’t be my grand speech about how to save the world with insects.
By now you’re probably wondering what could they possibly taste like.
Now that is an interesting question because the taste really depends on how they are cooked. The easiest way to find insects in our Western countries is dried and flavored. And usually you won’t even taste the insect, if you can get your hands on fresh ones like me, that’s what you want to try.
I honestly had no idea what to expect when tasting these bugs. The cicadas and the butterfly pupae actually tasted like chicken. It was like eating a barbecue skewer with some curry (yeah, they spiced it up a little.) Surprisingly very good, I knew insects weren’t bad, but without properly tasting them for myself I just couldn’t be sure and how could I promote entomophagy if I have never tried insects myself?
The scorpions were totally different, and by far my favorite. I am no food expert, and I have no idea how to describe them. They were crunchy, that I can tell you. But at this time of year in China, it’s around 14°F ( -10°C) so most of my senses are numb, or hurting. I would maybe compare them to caramel, but without all the sugary part. It’s funny because you eat them whole, claws and sting included. To what I’m told, boiling them neutralizes the venom.
If you’ve ever in Beijing one day, I would recommend you try the Wang Fu Jing market at night, there are a couple of insects and lots of other street foods you can try.
If I were to rate these skewers on a scale of 1 to 10:
- The cicadas and the pupae would be 7/10, they were good but there are definitely other foods I prefer, especially here in China, the food is truly amazing!
- The scorpions deserve 9,5/10, I just don’t want to end up giving away a 10/10 on the first day, but I loved them.
I hope you enjoyed this article, if you want to read more, please don’t hesitate to follow me on this blog and on my social media accounts. If you have any questions, I’d love to answer them, please leave a comment.
Daily Bug News
You can find the links to all the other articles in this challenge, it will be updated daily before 19 pm (GMT), please come back tomorrow for more!
- Day 2 : Unpacking SENS Bars
- Day 3 : Korean cereal
- Day 4 : Netflix n’ grasshoppers
- Day 5 : Cricket crackers
- Day 6 : Buffalo worm fusilli
- Day 7 : Mealworm Pumpkin Soup
- Day 8 : Insect Tuesday with Essento
- Day 9 : Omelette, cheese and jerky
- Day 10 : A unique smoothie
- Day 11 : Orthopteran Orzo
- Day 12 : Gagh, a Klingon delicacy?
- Day 13 : Grub quiche on the go
- Day 14 : Waxworm “Galette des rois”
- Day 15 : Insect Tuesday with friends
- Day 16 : Restaurant Inoveat