Eating insects is no longer such a taboo: according to statistics, 8 people out of 10 eat them as part of their diet. However, something must be changing radically, especially if French chefs got involved: France sees eating insects as an ecological issue. Ecolò, it's called: full of protein, minerals, less energy goes to raising them compared to bovines.
To go from foie gras to red palm weevil with truffle oil, or from steak tartare to worms with feta cheese and beetroot, from oysters to water scorpions with peppers and black garlic, is not an easy deed. Not far from the Eiffel tower, they are trying, and they are certain their effort will save the planet. Le Festin Nu opened its doors to Paris' Montmartre (18th Arrondissement) in October. "The Naked Meal", as it's translated, is a bistrò that serves insects on the menu. The French press can't stop talking about it, emphasizing how draining meat can be for the resources of the Earth, while fish are going extinct, and pointing out to worms and grasshoppers as humans' ultimate food destiny. The customers' intrigued and amused faces only confirm what chef Eli Daviron says: "Eating insects is a form of transgression". If you aren't convinced, Daviron explains that a grasshopper tastes just like seafood, or dried fruits, on the crusty side".
The idea crossed the ocean all the way to a restaurant named Antojeria La Popular, in the Village. They started serving tacos with crickets, hamburgers with grasshoppers and chili sauce, a dish they later named Grass-Whopper. However, going back to France, the prize for experimenting the most goes to chef David Faure, Michelin star in 2010, who tried something new at his restaurant Aphrodite, in Nice. Already back in May, he was starting to put insects on his Alternative Food menu. Among the offered dishes, a bavarian cream with peas and carrots topped with worms or fried crickets in buckwheat, and foie gras.
Watch out, famous restaurants might start adding all sort of sauces and insects to their menu. If you think it's too edgy, just remember it's nothing unusual in China. In Shanghai, it's almost common to hear a waiter ask the following question to an expat: "do you care for more than four legs?". They might not ask this question in the future.