Some friends of mine are hosting a little foodie party where we’re all invited to bring food on a stick. A joke that I was bringing ‘crickets on a stick’ has turned into, well, what I’m bringing to the party.
I’ve eaten a lot of more unusual things these past few years– frogs, rabbit, ostrich, all manner of sushi, raw horse/beef/lamb, pig’s face, ice cream made from horse’s milk– with the highlight maybe being beluga whale (mmm, like butter). No insects though.
Well, I have to say that once baked, crickets are pretty damn tasty. A texture like puffed rice with the taste of barley tea.
I bought mine from a reputable pet store that often sells to chefs in Toronto, and kept them for a week on a diet of carrot and cilantro to make sure what went into them was good stuff before they went into me. When prep day arrived I emptied out everything from their little plastic home and put in one half of an egg container for them to move into. After that it was easy- into a baking parchment bag and into the freezer to slow them down, then into a pot of boiling water for a quick kill and blanch, dry off and then onto a baking sheet with a bit of salt. I baked them for an hour at 250 until nice and crispy, and then pulled off the legs as instructed as I hear they get stuck in one’s teeth. After that, I made up a batch of caramel, dipped the pretzel sticks, rolled on crickets, dusted with a little bit of smoked paprika (only because I seem to put smoked paprika on everything I eat now) and then dipped in chocolate after the caramel had cooled.
Overall, being kept up at night by 150 chirping crickets for about 1/2 cup of crispy tasty protein wasn’t really worth the trouble, but I can now say that I’ve eaten something most people can’t. The party is tomorrow. I hope they’ll be a hit.
UPDATE: event was last night and all crickets were eaten!