Well, it’s day 2 of the 60 day bug challenge, and guess who’s already having some regrets? This is certainly going to be a big challenge?
Remember yesterday’s article? It was all about a Chinese Market before heading home. Believe or not, the journey to home was quite an adventure, planes are not the most comfortable place to sleep so it was to be expected, but it was much worse than expected.
After waiting for about 9h in transit in Istanbul’s airport, I totally missed my flight!
I joked around and sent this picture to a couple of my friends, and it’s only later I realised how I had totally f*cked up. There were 2 flights to Paris in a 5 minutes interval, and I thought mine was the delayed one, it was not. I didn’t even notice there was another flight to Paris before missing mine.
So, you can guess I got like really super stressed, and that was a terrible experience. Now I’m just totally exhausted and can’t get anything done, I had plans on what to eat and when, and I’m already changing them. I started unpacking and I found my 2 insect-based protein bars in my bag I had packed just in case, so that’s what I’ll be eating today.
Behold the SENS “Peanut butter & cinnamon protein bar” and the “Dark chocolate & orange energy bar”.
If you were expecting some perfect pictures and overly photoshopped, this is not what the 60 day bug challenge is all about. It’s about eating bugs and insect derived products on a daily basis, nothing more, nothing less.
I know I wasn’t supposed to test the products before the challenge started, but these bars were so intriguing that I tried them a couple of weeks ago already. But before that, I had never eaten any sort of protein or energy bar, so I had, once again, no idea what to expect. The closest thing I have tasted is those cereal bars that are over-sugared, covered in chocolate, so it’s not quite comparable.
Now before going further, might as well tell you what we’re getting into, here are the ingredients:
Peanut butter (34%)(peanuts 100%), cricket flour (Acheta domestica)(20%), hemp
protein, cacao butter, agave nectar, beetroot, cinnamon (1%).
Dates, cashews, chocolate (16%)(cacao mass 69%, cacao powder 31%), cricket flour (Acheta domestica)(10%), psyllium, orange peel (2%), orange essential oil (0,9%).
As you can clearly see, both lists of ingredients are pretty short, SENS wanted to keep their ingredients as clean and simple as possible.
I am writing this article while testing these bars kind of live, that way I can capture the whole taste and describe it much better.
This is what a SENS Bar looks like after travelling the world for 10 days. As I said before, you can always take beautiful pictures, but they might even end up looking fake. Plus, my first impression, after opening the bar was having purchased a large quantity of illegal products, I won’t go into more details and let your imagination make the best of this, not very family friendly. As a wise man once said, “Don’t do drugs kids, eat bugs.” I’m sure someone wise would say that.
The taste is very interesting, I’ll detail both bars separately. Warning for everyone consuming these bars, have some water nearby, you will be extremely thirsty.
I started with the SENS Protein bar – Peanut butter & cinnamon. After the first bite, I wasn’t really convinced, but I kept biting through, like something addictive. (Still not drugs.) I found that it gets better with every bite, so just keep going on, and then you can’t stop. And well, this might not come as a surprise, but it actually tastes like peanut butter & cinnamon! It reminds me of a biscuit I loved when I was a kid, shortbread. This bar didn’t start very well, but when I got to the end, I had to stop myself from getting another one from my drawer, they are actually really tasty. Oh, and stay hydrated, I had to run and get myself a glass of water before getting to the next bar, they really make you thirsty.
After the first bar, my expectations were set really high for the SENS Energy bar – Dark chocolate & orange. The texture was entirely different, not at all like a shortbread, kind of more what I initially expected from an energy bar. I would go for chewy maybe? Again, the more you go, the better it gets. I’ve got another surprise, this bar tastes like orange, and has an after taste of dark chocolate. Amazing no? If you’re going to take 2 bars at a time, drink up a lot of water, I wasn’t expecting to have to drink that much!
Now, before getting to my favourite part, the rating, let me tell you a bit about SENS.
SENS was founded in 2016, but only started selling products in 2017, so it’s quite new.
As we all know by now, meat is the most resource-challenging widely-consumed source of protein, and our food production system causes quite a few environmental problems. At SENS, they wanted an easy alternative to meat, that is also a solution to the current environmental degradation due to food production.
They developed protein and energy bars because they wanted to create something convenient, handy and tasty. Having bugs in your food is quite a new thing, so the products have to be something that people are used to, to make it less scary.
In these bars you can benefit from the high protein of insects, an environmentally friendly alternative, a product that is easy to process, but most importantly, it’s a first step to entomophagy. Once you’ve tried eating insects once, you can make it normal.
I did something funny, I asked every company to share a few words in their native language, and I have not translated any of these messages before publishing, maybe they’re swear words, maybe they’re inspirational, maybe it’s a quote from Shakespeare, I’ll leave you the liberty to translate every one of them yourselves.
From the SENS team: Dobrou chut’ !
I want to thank SENS for letting me try their products and for participating in this challenge.
Credits to SENS
Rating time, how much did I like both bars on a scale of 1 to 10:
- The SENS Protein bar – Peanut butter & cinnamon started as a 2-3/10, but after eating the whole bar, I would definitetly rate them as 8/10. Peanut butter isn’t really popular in France, and I’m not really a big fan, but I truly recommend this protein bar.
- The SENS Energy bar – Dark chocolate & orange wasn’t bad, but I wouldn’t call it transcending on my part, I did prefer the first one, maybe I set my expectations too high? I would rate this bar 5/10, it’s worth eating, it has nice nutritional values and is interesting but I wouldn’t eat it every day. My score might not be great, but that is my personal taste, you got to try it yourself to know.
If you’re in Europe and would like to try them yourselves, please do, you can order them on their website by clicking: here.
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.