That Time We Ate Bugs for Dinner

It doesn’t take much for our Edible Cleveland team to find a reason to get together, especially when food and, admittedly, cocktails are involved.

Had you been a fly on the wall at our recent dinner party you would have seen that we had all the requisites—plenty to eat, a thoughtfully set table, and our team’s signature conviviality and sense of adventure.

The key word here is “adventure.” This dinner was markedly different and, for most of us, unusually daring because the entrée was comprised of a more unusual protein.

Bugs. Toasted crickets and mealworms to be exact.

Around our table was a biologist/farmer, a food stylist, a photo editor, a social media manager, a magazine publisher and, lest we forget, several intrepid spouses, one very dedicated friend, a couple of children, and a pair of greyhounds who wisely avoided our rowdy experiment.

Fueled with a little liquid courage, and comforted by mellow jazz  tracks, we gathered in Melissa McClelland’s home kitchen to watch her, gleefully and with great aplomb, sauté a a pan of mealworms in olive oil and garlic {bravely using her own pans, mind you!} that would be our untraditional “taco filling.”

Some of us enjoyed them between warm tortillas with traditional enhancements like cheese, tomato, avocado and sour cream, with a side of a tangy jicama slaw that is featured in the current issue.  Some of us opted to go “vegetarian,” and others (mostly the spouses) silently made the best of it and kept reactions in check.

We laughed a lot. We dared each other to bite into a few other freeze-dried bug varieties (some considerably more intimidating than the mealworms) also procured from Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch.  We did our best to convince ourselves that there are plenty of other things less desirable to eat than bugs.

Most of all, we relished the conversations that were sparked by the content of the current issue. Assuredly, there are increasingly complex issues around food, related to global population growth, food production, equitable access, and health and wellness that prompt an evolving, open-minded approach to food sources, including enlarging our definition of what is, indeed, edible.

We’ve love to hear from you with your own edible? stories in the comments or on our social media pages.

–Lisa Sands. Photos by Laura Watilo Blake