Japanese chef publishes insect cuisine cookbook

One of the great joys of traveling is the chance to eat something new. Whether it’s a mouthwatering steak in Argentina or an English breakfast in London, exposure to new cuisine helps us understand the places we visit and people we meet. But of all the foods we’ll try when traveling, many people get all squeamish when it comes to insects. Not so fast says Japanese chef Shoichi Uchiyama, whose new bug recipe cookbook aims to give eaters everywhere a fresh look at eating and consuming these “untouchables” of the food world.

Uchiyama, who first became interested in insect cuisine during a workshop in 1998 in Tokyo, has become a devoted advocate of increased consumption of insects by humans. The chef points to the many benefits of insects as food, including their high protein content and the ability for farmers to raise them quickly and cheaply. He also notes that more than 1400 varieties of insects are consumed worldwide, from Africa to Latin America and Asia. Uchiyama’s new 256 page cookbook aims to further dispel humans’ natural aversion to eating bugs by providing a run-down of how to cook everything from cockroaches in pink vinegar soup, to moth pupae covered in sugar to pizza covered in water bugs.

What do you think? Does a sugar-covered moth-pupae get your mouth watering? Even if you think Chef Uchiyama has gone off the deep end, his enthusiasm and creativity are certainly cause for a second look at that plate of crickets. Have you ever eaten insects during your travels? Tell us about your experience in the comments.

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