As an Italian, it is hard for me to find a more comforting, versatile and excellent food than pasta. When you have the good stuff, and it’s cooked properly, I can eat buckets of it even with only a little drizzle of olive oil and nothing else. Now, it seems that there is a new kind of pasta peeking it’s way onto the market, one invented by an Italian no less, which is pasta made with crickets.
The company Bugsolutely sent me a free box of fusilli made with 20 percent “cricket flour,” or milled insects, along with durum semolina and wheat flours.
So, how did the picky pasta-loving Italians feel about the product?
“It’s different,” said Sarah. “But it’s different to me in the same way that tofu is not like meat. You can’t compare the two. I like both of them — I’m a meat eater but I like tofu. And I’m a pasta eater, but I’d eat this.”
Overall, the cricket pasta was well received, although everyone showed a slight preference for the traditional version. The cricket one reminded us of whole grain pasta — a little gritty, but tasty. All four of us also noticed that the cricket pasta clung to its sauce more than the regular pasta, which made it a little harder to taste the sauce.
I understand the concept behind exploring adding insects to the Western food supply. They are a good source of protein, one that has been snubbed by Western civilizations for centuries, but one that could provide an additional protein source which would tax our environment far less than, for example, expanding beef and pork production to satisfy our rapidly growing population. When it comes to this pasta, however, I’m not sure how it fits in with this concept. I would like to know the nutritional value of this pasta compared to regular kinds, to see if there is any added nutritional benefit to it, or if it is simply marketed as something edgy and cool.
Still, either way, I’d try a bowl of that. I’m very curious and, given it’s reception, I’m sure it’ll be far, far better than pasta with ketchup.