Swiss restaurant offers insect cooking classes using homegrown weevils

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Swiss restaurant offers insect cooking classes using homegrown weevils
Bug burgers could be common in the future. Photo: Coop

A Bern restaurant is offering new cooking classes to teach people how to cook with insects.


Designer and events organizer Andrea Staudacher will lead the next class, which is open to the general public, on April 3rd at the Löscher restaurant in the Swiss capital.
Participants will learn how to make things such as muffins and falafel using fried grasshoppers and flour worms (weevils), the latter bred on the premises. 
The restaurant’s manager told 20 Minuten that he produces around two kilos of weevils a week – feeding them old bread and vegetable peelings – with a view to producing three tons a year in the future.
Speaking to the paper about the cooking classes, Staudacher said: “We associate prawns with food but not grasshoppers. However the two animals are very similar.”
“A handful of crickets provides the same amount of protein as a piece of beef steak.”
Staudacher has already held one class for restauranters and chefs, including the manager of Bern burger bar Kung Fu Burgers who told the paper she would certainly look into offering insect-based dishes for special events at her restaurant.
The new classes are timely, since from May 1st the Swiss federal food safety office is changing the rules to allow insect products to be sold to consumers as long as they respect usual food safety regulations. 
As a result, Swiss supermarket Coop said it will this spring start selling products made from insects, such as burgers and meatballs. 
Insects are as rich in protein as meat and fish and contain essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids. They are sustainable to cultivate since they require much less food and water than other animals and do not emit harmful greenhouse gases.
They are also delicious, said Coop, pointing out that crickets taste a bit like chicken and weevils have a nutty flavour.
The cooking class at the Löscher costs 80 francs a head and is limited to 20 people. More details here.



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