For centuries insects have been included in traditional dishes around the world. Latin Americans eat cicadas, ants and even tarantulas. South Africans put them in porridge. And we all know that Mexican tequila lacks a certain something without that worm.
Now new food companies are hoping Americans can overcome the ick factor, introducing cookies and snack bars made with cricket flour.
According to the manufacturers, the Exo and Chapul cricket-flour bars each contain up to 40 dried, ground crickets and that cricket flour has two times more protein than beef and 15 percent more iron than spinach.
In a blind test, Consumer Reports food experts answered the all-important question: How does it taste? Tasters sampled six snack bars from the two manufacturers, as well as some Bitty cricket-flour chocolate-chip cookies.
There were no off-notes in the bars, nothing unusual in the taste. For the most part the bars had pretty simple straightforward ingredient listings with things like fruits, nuts, honey, flax, and of course crickets. As for the cookies, they tasted more of coconut than crickets.
Consumer Reports advises that because crickets are closely related to shrimp, people with shellfish allergies should avoid products containing cricket flour.
It’s worth noting that cricket flour doesn’t come cheap. While regular flour is three to six cents an ounce, cricket flour costs about $1 an ounce.