As climate changes worsen and the sustainability of animal protein-based diets remains in some question, scientists and chefs are increasingly turning to alternative means of feeding people. Ecuadorian chef Juan José Aniceto Cueva says: “Let them eat worms.”
Chef Cueva specializes in authentic Amazonian cuisine, which uses ingredients that would make most of us lose our appetites. But Cueva wants to dispel the notion that dishes like smoked worms are gross or foreign.
“We want to get rid of this connotation that Amazonian gastronomy is exotic, because it isn’t exotic. It is a way of life,” he told Ozy magazine.
Smoked chontacuros is an Amazonian dish that literally means “tree worm,” from chonta, the name of the tree where these grubs can be found. He prepares the worms in traditional cooking stoves. The protein-packed larvae can be served toasted on kebab skewers and have a “rich, unique flavor,” according to Piran Café.
You don’t have to be in the Amazon to appreciate insect cuisine. Here are 9 Countries Brave Enough to Eat Insects Without a Chocolate Coating.