Los Angeles has a reputation for being on the forefront of healthy and environmentally-conscious eating, awash in juice bars and vegan eateries before the rest of the country knew how to pronounce quinoa.
Now, one local woman wants to take Angelenos on a whole new culinary adventure. Aly Moore, founder of Bugible, is hosting “Scary Delicious” on 23 October, a multi-course fine wine and insect pairing that aims to introduce guests to the joy of eating bugs. Moore first became interested in edible insects after a summer spent building health clinics in Mexico, where she tried grasshopper tacos from the late night taco stand. “I’ve always been adventurous,” Moore tells Lonely Planet. “For me, this was just another food to try. When I returned home, however, my curiosity compelled me to investigate why I’ve never seen bugs on the menu elsewhere in the States. I soon learned about the burgeoning movement of ‘entomophagy’ (the fancy word for eating bugs), but noticed that there were few sources to obtain information about the movers and shakers in the field.”
So she started Bugible (bug + edible) to educate both herself and her readers about edible bugs. “Not only are insects healthy and nutritious for humans – they’re healthy for the environment too,” Moore explains. “They require less water, land and feed to raise than other traditional livestock. The global population is expected to reach nine billion by 2050 and I see insects as a great source of healthy, sustainable protein for the future. I want to be a part of the journey getting Western cultures on board.”
For $55-60 (43-47 GBP), the dinner, co-hosted with V Wine Room’s Michael Consbruck, will highlight insects’ gourmet potential, and showcase varieties like scorpions (“basically a land lobster, they pair very well with a more acidic Sauvignon Blanc”) and silk worms (“they can have an earthy umami flavor and pair nicely with a full bodied Zinfandel.”) The only hurdle may be their creepy crawly reputation. “Once people get over the mental barrier of trying insects, they’re normally blown away by the taste,” says Moore. “Bugs have delicate and diverse flavour profiles that top chefs are only beginning to explore.”
A photo posted by BUGIBLE (@bugible) on Jan 23, 2016 at 9:31pm PST
As for Moore, she enthusiastically shares her favourite edible insect. “I absolutely LOVE scorpions. I like them dehydrated and salted up a bit, they remind me of salmon jerky.”