Insects, perhaps the last frontier of culinary exploration, have finally made their way to Le Cordon Bleu, the famed French cooking school first established in 1895 (whose alumni include Julia Child and Kelis, of “Milkshake” fame).
Earlier this month, at the school’s Bangkok branch, a seminar on “Edible Insects in a Gastronomic Context” invited students, scientists, professors, and insect farmers to learn about the potential behind expanding the role of the insect in the kitchen.There was, of course, a tasting menu as well.
Highlights of the evening included an ant-infused gin and cricket consommé, though there were also “silk worms, bamboo worms, and live water bugs as big as a toddler's hand,” according to The Associated Press.
It was the first time in the school’s 120-year history that insects were invited to the table, though the idea of insects as a purposeful ingredient has been gaining more and more traction, especially outside of the United States.
In Brussels, for example, worms have made it into college cafeteria menus. In Southeast Asia, there’s no room for the squeamish, as insects have long been included in local diets.
We do think it will take some more time for Western palates to be accepting of bugs as an amuse-bouche, though, as one French chef told The Associated Press, “We eat escargot. They’re ugly. But in fact, it’s delicious.”