I am interested in all food and culture, and in some parts of the world, this includes insects. They are cheap to raise and/or easy to forage, high in protein, don’t require vast swaths of land for grazing, apparently, can be delicious. I’ve never found any restaurant in Atlanta or my travels that features bugs on the menu, but it’s something I keep an eye out for, because I know it is a broad category of cuisine that I am missing out on – over 1,000 species of insects are known to be eaten in 80% of the world’s nations, according to Wikipedia.
So when I was contacted by Delysia Chocolatier about sampling their new line of chocolates that include insects, I said absolutely!
First up were the truffles… the first I tried was what a presume is the grasshopper. This was a spicy chocolate which I was not expecting and did not enjoy the flavor of vey much, but it was probably due to more to surprise and less to the inclusion of grasshoppers. Overall, really not too bad.
Next was the cricket, I think. This one I enjoyed a lot. It tastes just about like any chocolate you’d find, maybe with a little more texture, but not nearly as much as a Symphony Bar or similar. This one gets two thumbs up!
Last up was mealworm. Now, this time I made a mistake. Instead of popping the chocolate into my mouth, I bit it halfway. When I casually glanced down at my hand, there was a big ol’, totally intact mealworm hanging out! I was definitely a little freaked out and disgusted, but this is for science here so I pulled it out, threw it away and ate the rest. I did not enjoy this one though, whether due to the psychological fallout of biting it in half or the chocolate itself.
Adam has no problems at all with the mealworms. He feels like her could catch the texture of the grasshoppers and the crickets, but that it didn’t bother him.
After Adam and I each had one of each flavor of truffle, there was still one of each left to be had. So we volunteered our friend Steve to try them out. He had the mealworm first, and didn’t think much about it one way or another. He could tell the texture was different, but didn’t love or hate it. Next, I gave him the cricket and he immediately threw up! That reaction surprised all of us, probably most of all Steve, haha. But he was man enough to go for the third flavor even after the upchucking. Even though we all watched him closely and I even took a movie because I am a little bit evil, he had no trouble at all with the spicy grasshopper chocolate. The texture didn’t bother him and the spice that I didn’t care for he actively enjoyed. So there you go, a completely different take on the buggy chocolate truffle collection.
Sadly, my truffle box experience did not end on a high note since I didn’t like the mealworms at all. But that was okay, because there was still cricket bark to be had!
I really, really enjoyed the cricket bark. I liked it even more than the cricket truffle. It was just like any “bark” candy you’d try anywhere, and the varied textures created by the soy beans, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, and currants completely masks/distracts from any texture that could be specifically identified as a cricket. I could eat this stuff all day.
The good news is that if I want to, I presumably can eat this cricket bark all day. Delysia Chocolatier operates an online store – in addition to having brick and mortar sales in stores in California, Colorado, and their home state of Texas.
At the time of this writing, I am unable to find the bug chocolates on their store, but they were just publicly debuted at the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival this weekend, so perhaps this new product hasn’t made its way to the online store just yet. I do encourage you to keep looking or to write them a line expressing your desire to try their chocolates with insects if it sounds like something you might want to try. At this point in time in this country, it’s a very unique experience!
Just like to some, some weeds are a nuisance and some are pretty wildflowers, for some people insects will never be edible. But I figure 80% of the world’s nations can’t be completely wrong, and certainly Delysia’s bug chocolate offerings haven’t changed my mind for the worse just yet.