Insects to eat

December 08, 2023

Edible insect crackers

Insects to Eat: The Best Varieties and Most Popular Recipes

Entomophagy, the consumption of edible insects, hasn't gained widespread popularity in Europe yet, despite the efforts of companies entering the market and supporting data from organizations like the FAO, the adoption of insect-based foods has been slow.

However, countries such as the Netherlands, France, and Belgium have seen rapid growth in the edible insect sector. In other country, like Italy, the easiest way to obtain insects or insect-based products, like pasta, flour, crackers, cookies, and snacks, is to purchase them online.

Discover the various species of edible insects, how they are prepared globally, and explore popular recipes in the following paragraphs.

What are Edible Insects?

Frequent travelers are aware that edible insects come from a variety of species. However, not all insects are suitable for consumption, as some are poisonous and could lead to severe consequences.
That's why only insects raised for human consumption must be used.

Common edible insects include crickets, grasshoppers, locusts, different ant varieties, beetles, scorpions, tarantulas, worms, various larvae types, wasps, and bugs.

Each country has its culinary traditions with different preparations and recipes for these insects.

The most widely used varieties of edible insects worldwide

There are approximately 1400 varieties of edible insects globally, serving as a crucial food resource for at least 3000 ethnic groups. Asia and South America are the primary consumers of insects.

The picturesque, open-air markets in countries such as Thailand and China are also famous for their quaint stalls that offer tourists and locals alike succulent meals of roasted insects and a variety of sweet and savory snacks.

If in Asia crickets, bugs, butterflies, and larvae are popular, South American cuisines lean towards ants, grasshoppers, and tarantulas.
One of the most famous dishes of Mexican tradition are, in fact, escamoles, an excellent condiment for tortillas made of ant larvae.
In some countries, such as Venezuela, one of the most loved and sought after dishes is the roasted tarantula Goliath: an insect so large that it can satiate an entire family.

Ants are particularly appreciated in Australia, especially the "melliferous" ones, which are consumed by the local population as an excellent dessert.

In Africa, traditional cooking involves termites, larvae, ants, and moth caterpillars.

Where to buy edible ?

Currently, the most convenient way to procure insects for culinary purposes is through online platforms.

Some shops or supermarkets in Europe are starting to test some edible insect products, but they are not widespread yet.
Discover new lunch and dinner ideas in the recipe section.


Recipes with edible insects

Now, let's delve into some creative, tasty, and original recipes using edible insects.

Savory proposals

Impress your guests with insect-based dishes.

Start with a refreshing crickets hummus sauce served with crackers made from insect flour. For the main course, consider insect flour pasta with cream, saffron, and zucchini, or a savory pie stuffed with cricket sauce. Spice things up with a special grasshopper and potato stew or a couscous curry featuring legumes, vegetables, and crispy mealworms.


Insects based sweets

Desert options are plentiful.

Skilled cooks can prepare delicious cookies using mealworms flour and dark chocolate or use cookies in a unique tiramisu replacing the classic sponge cake base. Experiment with puddings, mousses, and crème caramel, complemented by a warm sauce of pears and caramelized mealworms. Opt for a quick protein boost by combining yogurt, centrifuges, milkshakes, and fruit smoothies with a granola made from seeds, dried fruit, cereals, and edible insect powder.

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