Here's why eating or drinking insects will never catch on in this country.
Last night while I was dining in a pretty decent New York City restaurant, a cockroach scurried across the floor, and the couple at the next table jumped up and started screaming at an alarmingly high octave. A manager was finally able to calm them down, but not before they demanded their ENTIRE meal be comped (he agreed).
I found the couple's overreaction understandable but still mildly entertaining -- even more entertaining when I read in the paper today that a new restaurant-bar just a few neighborhoods away is trying to make insect cocktails trendy. Most people can't tolerate an insect in their general vicinity, and this place thinks people are actually going to "drink" them? Unbelievable!
It's true. The restaurant offers a small selection of insect cocktails including:
- A pina colada-type cocktail of made with blended coconut, crème caramel, and crickets.
- Tobacco- and sugar-infused brandy topped with scorpions.
- A tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, avocado, red pepper, and Mexican worm margarita.
A drink made with giant ants is also in the works. Here's one of the owners explaining why she thinks insect cocktails are a great idea:
I got the idea when I was working in a bar in Florence and they had lobsters in a tank ... I thought, insects, same thing. People eat escargot, which are snails. What’s the difference?
Except, really, it's not at all the same thing. Many people are already squeamish about crustaceans and escargot -- eating (and drinking) insects is way more gutsy. If the couple from last night is any indication, I'm not sure the typical consumer is up to the challenge. (I rather doubt Mr. and Mrs. Cockroach would have cared to know that insects are rich in protein and are considered a delicacy in many other countries.)
Still, all that alcohol might make the bugs go down that much easier; maybe a little liquid courage is all you need to sample your very first bug.
Do you think eating/drinking insects will ever catch on here?
Image via Bob B. Brown/Flickr