Is Dallas Ready To Eat Bugs?

Categories: Food News

Thumbnail image for Chef Pyles Crickets.jpg
@chefpyles
Remember last year when we stumbled on Stephan Pyles' Twitter feed? The chef was traveling around Mexico, gathering ideas for menu items for Stampede 66, and tweeting up a storm.

See Also:
- Stampede 66 Teases Tacos de Chipolines

Pyles snapped a picture of a bin full of grasshoppers and teased that selling tacos de chipolines in Dallas would be next to impossible. I cheered him on, but no luck. There were no grasshopper tacos when the new restaurant opened.

But what if they were to become available here in Dallas... Would anyone eat them?

The UN just released a report that makes a case for eating critters with more than four legs. For nearly 200 pages Edible Insects explores the future prospects for food and feed security. The report covers the farming, harvesting, and nutritional value of mealworms, beetles, crickets, silkworms grasshoppers and more. There's also a chapter on marketing insects as food, and dealing with the "disgust factor."

The paper admits it's difficult to convince some cultures that bugs can be food and not something to step on. I wish Pyles had served those cricket tacos so we could have seen how accepting or curious Dallas customers could be. Sierra Magazine is devoting next month's feature to edible insects. Who knows, maybe you'll see bugs on a menu soon.


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11 comments
Vanessa Kimmel
Vanessa Kimmel

On the list of stuff I should try, eating bugs is #41, right after a colonic and just before zip lining in a homemade hair-sling.

EraDee Hernandez
EraDee Hernandez

Yes!!!!! Bring it on! High on protein and low on fat. Tasty too!

J_A_
J_A_ topcommenter

Ok I can suck the head of a crawfish all day long and stare into it's beady eyes as I devour its posterior, but I'd never stick the whole damn thing in my mouth and start munching. Eating bugs (even as taco filling) is too much for me to stomach.

xdarkridex
xdarkridex

There's a restaurant in Santa Monica, CA that serves an entire insect sub-menu.  Went there with friends where everyone bought a different insect entree.  

Except me.  I got the Filipino Pork.

Look, I'll eat almost anything, but there's just no reason to eat the bugs.  

spyles
spyles

Scott, as Alana says, chipolines are grasshoppers, not crickets. Unfortunately, knowing the Dallas market well, a taco made from the sweet, crunchy bug wouldn't sell. I have a hard enough time selling sweetbread tacos. But I'm still often inspired to try so I might begin my search again for procurement. Maybe I'll see what Jose's source in DC is.

Alana
Alana

Jose Andres serves a grasshopper taco at his restaurant Oyamel in DC, and at least there a lot of first time visitors are adventurous enough to try it. It was reasonably tasty (crunchy, as you'd expect, and very spicy), but when given the option between that and other items on the menu, I usually go for other things.

Mervis_Earl
Mervis_Earl

That's what she said. Literally, just look. ;)

scott.reitz
scott.reitz moderator

@spylesI'm sure they're never be a profitable menu item, but what about the fun factor and the opportunity to explore new foods? Your Sonofabitch certainly pushed some boundaries and it was delicious. I'm certain a few creative characters would step up to the plate for grasshoppers. How else can you expand palates?

 @AlanaI've had Andre's taco. Salty as sin, spicy, and there always seems to be a leg caught in your teeth. Some people loved them, some were disgusted, but they always got a big reaction at the table. It's fun.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

Please post the name of your restaurant and days you make sweetbread tacos. I've found a couple of carnacerias serving roasted sweetbreads, but those are all sold whole, and no tacos.

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