For some reason, insects bug Americans. Most would rather poison themselves with pesticides than admit to the nutritional value of terrestrial arthropods. I do not fall into that category. I was mostly vegan for two years, but even vegans eat insects. It's literally impossible to keep them out of our food. Why live your life resisting something that's inevitable? If you're a serious foodie like myself, edible insects represent some nineteen hundred new flavors. That's an awful lot of possibilities to ignore based on an illogical bias.
Denver restaurant auteur Justin Cucci obviously recognizes the opportunity that bugs represent. Crickets have been featured in several dishes at his global street food-inspired eatery Linger. The latest version of Linger's menu is divided into regions. You'll see Sweet and Sour Crickets in the Thailand section (black ant rice and spiced grasshoppers are other ingredients). Crickets are enormously popular in Thailand, so much so that they can barely keep up with the demand. In fact, it's estimated that two billion people around the world choose to eat insects consciously. Just because most Americans think entomophagy – the practice of eating insects – is strange, doesn't mean they're right. Insects are basically the terrestrial relatives of shellfish. Both are arthropods. Why is eating bugs any different from eating crab or shrimp? Some entomophagy enthusiasts will tell you that they taste similar.
So next time you find yourself at Linger, gift your palate an adventure and give the Sweet and Sour Crickets a try. You just might be pleasantly surprised.