Last week, I ate a cricket. I hadn’t planned to but I got caught up in the moment. Ken and I were interviewing a naturalist from the Butterfly Conservancy of Cambridge about their Chocolate Bugfeast that’s on this week. Ken chomped on some chocolate-covered critters and I decided to join in. This is a movement that’s going mainstream. Loblaws announced last week that it’s going to stock cricket flour. For years, other countries have seen the benefit of using the low maintenance, high protein insects in all sorts of ways. Some say they’re the solution to world hunger.
Inside this box were two little bags. One contained five pellets of chocolate, the other, five pellets of white chocolate – which, let’s face it, isn’t really chocolate at all. But I digress. We did a Facebook live video during the interview and Ken tried a chocolate cricket. He said it was crunchy with no real flavor so I got brave but I wasn’t quick enough. He downed all of the chocolate crickets before I had a chance to grab one. I was left with the white ones and I agree, there’s no real flavor. Just a crunchy texture, like the wafer in a Kit Kat.
But white chocolate? Ewwwwwww.
I will spare you the photo my brother sent me of the cricket taco he ate at a St. Catharines restaurant. My stomach flips if my food looks exactly like it does when it was walking around. A whole lobster makes me queasy. A fish with its head intact ruins my appetite. I’m surprised I can tolerate a baked potato.
I’m told that if you didn’t know something was made with cricket flour, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Chocolate Chirp Cookies are a popular treat. But god help the person who watches someone eat and then tells them later that it was crickets. That’s a relationship-ender, right there.
In his autobiography, Born A Crime, Trevor Noah writes that eating a certain caterpillar is common in his home area of South Africa, when people are too poor to buy other food. It’s high in protein and, frankly, it keeps people alive. Personally, I’m not going to start using cricket flour, or eating crickets again. But if their availability means people who would otherwise go hungry have something nutritious to eat – bring it on. Now, let’s deal with the more urgent matter. White chocolate isn’t chocolate at all. Please discuss.