What's for dinner? Insects: from burger to gastronomy
Eating insects is certainly not yet widespread in Belgium, but since the beginning of October adventurous diners can now buy Limburg's Damhert worm burgers, schnitzels and nuggets in most supermarkets.
What puts many people off is the idea and the look of these 'creepy crawlies'. Essentially there is little difference compared to using molluscs, like shellfish, squid or snails, but these are already established in our culinary culture. No less than 2 billion people of this earth do however eat insects. They are rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and fibre and there are lots of them and they are easy to produce. Furthermore, the ecological footprint of production is much lower than beef or poultry, for example.
This message seems to be getting through in the Belgian dining culture. Where first steps were taken by serving insect burgers at summer festivals and in student restaurants, various gastronomic restaurants are also now including insects in their menus. ‘Bugs & Lunch’ in Ghent even serves up a complete insect menu. However, Ghent is not the only place where you can try insects. ‘’t Walhalla’ in Roeselare serves a tofu burger based on buffalo worms. The hamburger restaurant in Oostend ‘Cook & Roll’ have put a Tandoori Insect Burger and Grasshopper Sundae on their menu.
It has to be said that the beasties have been used in such a way that you can taste but not see them. For example, by incorporating them in a cricket croquette or a crunchy layer on a ball of vanilla ice-cream. The flavours are apparently quite surprising: nuts, bacon, popcorn, even mint.