Insect-only eatery aims to make bugs palatable


Marnie Hunter, CNN

12th August 2019


(CNN) Bugs have a lot of potential -- as a food source.


The average diner may be skeptical, but that's the position of food scientist Leah Bessa and her partners.


Their South Africa-based company, Gourmet Grubb, produces ice cream made from an insect-based dairy alternative they've named EntoMilk. It's made from Hermetia illucens, the black soldier fly.


And since June, they've been operating a pop-up food concept in Cape Town called The Insect Experience, where dishes featuring insects are plated with the same care and precision as any gourmet delicacy.


"We sort of wanted to try and create a viable protein alternative that is sustainable and ethical and could really create quite a positive change going into the future," Bessa said.

There are more than 1,900 known edible insect species consumed around the world, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.


Edible insects are incredibly healthy, according to Bessa. They're high in protein, for one -- a quality protein that has the right amino acid profile for human consumption. They're also high in iron and zinc, high in fiber, and they have a healthy fat profile.


Pasta with black soldier fly larvae, garnished with mealworms is one Insect Experience dish.


In other words, edible insects have high potential as a sustainable source of food.


"Insects are very underutilized or not really very well understood, so we really wanted to try and highlight their potential. And also their taste, as well, because you know people don't really know much about them, what they taste like, how they can be used," Bessa said.


Chef Mario Barnard is behind dishes such as mopane polenta fries -- polenta fries made with flour created with mopane worms, then sprinkled with mopane chili salt.


"We try to make it as visually pleasing for everybody to just introduce it. It helps with your mental block," Barnard told CGTN...


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