Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Pestaurant: Belfast diners get their teeth into menu of insects

Om nom nom nom: Gemma Weir from Belfast samples a water beetle at the Rentokil restaurant
Buzz feed: Tourist Board staff in Belfast try some of the delicacies
Belfast chef Robert McMahon is on hand to make sure all the delicacies are cooked to perfection
Belfast chef Robert McMahon is on hand to make sure all the delicacies are cooked to perfection

Belfast's bravest foodies sampled a menu filled with pigeon burgers, dried crickets and Mexican spice mealworms as the city's first 'Pestaurant' opened its doors to the public.

And according to the staff at the Rentokil restaurant, the girls are much more daring than the boys when it comes to sampling the exotic delicacies on offer.

Crispy barbecue mealworms, curry crickets and chocolate covered bugs proved popular, with those prepared to try three items getting a scorpion lolly as a reward.

"It's not bad – a bit like paté," said Sarah Carter, who sampled some pigeon burger before testing a few tasty mealworms.

"I love the salt and vinegar ones," she said before taking a goodie bag back to the office for her colleagues.

Nathan Meehan wasn't quite as sure, claiming he "wasn't too fussed" on the mealworms.

Jodie Barr admitted she thought the cuisine at the Writers' Square pop-up restaurant would be disgusting – but was pleasantly surprised.

The event is marking Global Pestaurant Day, and Belfast is one of 12 cities from across four continents participating.

Colm Moore, technical manager of Rentokil, described the Pestaurant as a celebration of the hard work of its staff, as well as "bringing some fun to pest control".

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, more than two billion people worldwide already supplement their diet with insects.

Chef Robert McMahon was on hand to make sure all the delicacies were cooked to perfection

Dare to try these recipes at home?

Ginger cricket sweets

Ingredients

  • 20 pieces of crystalised ginger
  • 4oz dark chocolate
  • 20 dry roasted crickets

Cover a tray or a plate with grease-proof paper before you start. Slowly melt the chocolate on a low microwave setting or in a glass bowl above a saucepan of boiling water.

Hold a cricket and a piece of ginger, dip it into the chocolate and let the excess drip off. Place it on the grease-proof paper and leave to cool and harden.

Then hold the chocolatey side and re-dip it into melted chocolate. Leave again to cool and store in a cool air-tight container.

Scare-amel Apples

(Toffee apple covered in creepy bugs)

Ingredients

  • Any selection of eating apples
  • Caramel
  • A mixture of mealworms and crickets

Prepare grease-proof paper on a plate, a greased baking tray and have some skewers to hand. Then pre-heat the oven to 190C.

Bake the bugs on the lightly oiled baking trays or grease-proof paper for about 15 minutes (or until they look golden and crunchy and smell like roasted nuts).

Turn them halfway through to prevent burning and uneven cooking.

Slowly melt the caramel in the microwave on a low heat, or gently above a simmering saucepan of water.

Skewer the apples and cover in the caramel.

Then roll the sticky apples in the roasted bugs. Place the wormy caramel apples in the fridge to cool and harden.

Further reading

Would you eat spicy worms or bugs in chocolate?

Rentokil's pop up 'pestaurant' is coming to Belfast

Rentokil 'pestaurant': Putting pests on a plate gives us food for thought

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