Among the taxidermic polar bears and emperor penguins that line the walls of the Explorers Club in Manhattan, a white linen tablecloth covers a small table with plates of other dead animals. But these creatures are smaller, less furry (in some cases), and accompanied by garnishes. Last time we visited the Club, the menu featured pickled eyeballs, python patties, and spleen ragout. This time, it’s bugs.
With a human population barreling toward 9 billion people, protein (and the water, food, and land to raise the animals that provide it) will soon be at a premium. That’s where eating insects comes in. “The Western attitude is that we don’t believe in it as a food source,” says Alan Nichols, president of the Explorers Club. “But we will. This is the solution to the food problem.”
Follow along below as I do my part to work toward that solution by grabbing a plate.
Grasshopper kebabs: Free-range adult Texas Grasshoppers, marinated, broiled and served on skewers with red, green and yellow bell peppers
Tarantula tempura: Captive-bred Rose Hair Tarantula Spiders, battered, fried, and dusted with garlic powder and smoked paprika
Cambodian Mole Cricket Rumaki: Traditionally harvested Cambodian Crickets with pineapple wrapped in bacon and brushed with sriracha.
Get your daily dose of bugs
Cockroach Canapés: Oven-baked American cockroaches on endive leaves filled with chevre and sprinkled with currants, chopped hazelnuts and shaved fennel
Chapulines Con Chocolate Fondue: Traditional wild-harvested Oaxacan Grasshoppers dipped in chocolate kahlua fondue