Ever eaten an insect? Would you? How about these Salted Chocolate and Pistachio Grasshoppers? Even if I told you they actually tasted really, rather… nice?
Today I ate a grasshopper. It was freeze dried, and plain, and straight from the bag. I’ve been wanting to try insects for the longest time, but I’ll admit I felt pretty grossed out even touching them.
Are edible insects our future, or the path to turning the majority of the population vegan?
This is a legit question as, unless you live under a rock, there’s a fair chance you may have heard that our little blue/green planet will soon struggle to feed the insane explosion of humans populating the surface. I don’t mean soon as in next week, but it is expected that within my lifetime, the cheap meat we’re all so used to will be all but a distant memory and alternative protein sources will be the new norm.
After putting out a plea on twitter to find a UK bug supplier to talk to, I had an enlightening chat with Neil at Eat Grub. His journey, from good hearted, inebriated idea with friends on his 30th birthday, to today proudly supplying Ocado with their Eat Grub Energy Bars, hasn’t been all smooth sailing. Not only are they creating nutritious and tasty products, they are also tasked with educating a public that feels more than a little, squeamish, about the whole subject.
However what’s apparent during the pop ups they have run for the past few years, where the humble grub sits at the heart of each course, is that people enjoy the taste of them. Like me, many maybe grossed out at the thought of eating bugs, but once we get past that and actually stick them in our cakeholes, we find we really quite like them.
Perhaps there’s hope for us as a species after all.
Salted Chocolate and Pistachio Grasshoppers
Neil kindly sent me some crickets & grasshoppers to play around with in the kitchen and get a feel for. This is the first in a mini series of recipes based around these odd little protein bombs.
Salted Chocolate and Pistachio Grasshoppers are the ideal starting place for anyone that is new to the world of eating bugs and wants to first taste them in their dried form. Rehydrating & cooking brings them into even tastier realms, but for now let’s focus on the crunchy version.
You aren’t hiding the flavours of the grasshopper, just the visual ‘grasshopperiness’ of them. With chocolate. And complementing that sweet nuttiness with a little more sweet nuttiness.
You can tell some serious thought went into this recipe.
The touch of salt isn’t essential, just down to my personal weakness for the way salt works with sweet flavours. If you do opt to use salt, please only use a maximum of four or possibly five grains per grasshopper. It should complement, not leave you gasping for a drink.
- 100 g good quality dark chocolate
- 20 g freeze dried grasshoppers
- 2 tablespoons pistachios, chopped
- pinch salt (optional)
Line a baking sheet with baking paper, tin foil or cling film.
Melt the dark chocolate in a bain marie (or small bowl over simmering water)
Remove the wings and legs from the grasshoppers and pop into the melted chocolate, one at a time. Use two forks to turn them over, ensuring they are fully coated. Pick up, let the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl, then pop onto the covered baking sheet.
Sprinkle lightly with the pistachios and a few grains of salt if using.
Let the chocolate cool and set before serving.
Huge thanks to Neil at Eat Grub for answering all my questions, and sending me through some products to try. No money changed hands, this review & recipe is purely based on my interest in the subject. As always all thoughts (and leftovers!) are my own.