Paris restaurant

The crickets are the surprise stars of the Parisian restaurant

French chef Laurent Veyet has prepared a revolutionary menu that is not for the less adventurous or the timid.
Think crispy and fried mealworms, chocolate-coated crickets, and sautéed larvae. And while they may not suit every palate, insects are quickly becoming the ingredient of choice at Chef Veyet’s Parisian restaurant, Inoveat.

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In a recent tasting, the spooky dishes received nods of approval from an adventurous clientele.
“It’s the perfect dish for beginners,” said the Parisian chef, as he made pasta made from mealworm flour, sweet potato and sautéed insect larvae.

“There are some really interesting flavors. Not many people could say they don’t like it.
“You have to find the right flavors, the right sides. This is all fascinating, any chef will tell you the same thing,” he said.
Not only a boon for adventurous diners, but the bugs could also provide a sustainable, low-carbon food source.

In January, the European Food Safety Agency ruled that the mealworm was safe for human consumption and in May approved its sale in the market. Since then, it has responded to more than a dozen applications for food products made from insects, including crickets and locusts.

Fried mealworms cooked by French chef Laurent Veyet are seen in his restaurant Inoveat serving insect dishes in Paris, France on May 12, 2021. Photo taken on May 12, 2021. REUTERS / Sarah Meyssonnier

“Insects are nutritious,” said Stefan De Keersmaecker, spokesperson for health and food safety at the European Commission. “They can really help us make the transition to a healthier, more sustainable diet and food system.”

High in protein, fat and fiber, mealworms can be used whole in curries and salads, or ground to make flour for pasta, cookies and bread.

Easy and quick to stock up, Chef Veyet grows his on the spot, feeding them oat porridge and vegetables.

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