Pizza with mealworm, goat cheese, black gold garlic, local olives, and truffle oil. Photo courtesy Chef Collectives.

Pizza with mealworm, goat cheese, black gold garlic, local olives, and truffle oil. Photo courtesy Chef Cooperatives.

Note: This event has been postponed because “health and safety remain our priority and we will follow the recommendations of public health officials,” according to the Witte Museum’s website.

Insects are good for a lot of things: feeding animals, decomposing waste, and incentivizing us to not leave food in the living room. But many of us are still squeamish about the critters—and we certainly don’t want them on our plates.

Nevertheless, insects have been called the future of food, and many cultures have already embraced that reality. San Antonio’s Witte Museum, which hosts exhibits about nature, science, and culture, is hoping Texans give the crunchy creatures a shot.

On the evening of March 26, the museum is hosting Bug Bites, an event where people can sample chef-crafted dishes featuring a variety of insects. With a menu that includes coffee-blackened grasshopper street tacos, grilled scorpion with pineapple mojo, roasted orange-ant mole, and cricket carrot cake, bugs might just become a welcome addition to culinary classics.

“A lot of people are intrigued by the different ways you can incorporate bugs into a meal,” says Samantha Rendon, the Witte’s director of communications. “But we’ll also have non-bug-related items that everyone can enjoy.”

Chocolate cricket cremeux with spicy fire ant tamarind sorbet. Photo courtesy Chef Collectives.

Chocolate cricket cremeux with spicy fire ant tamarind sorbet. Photo courtesy Chef Cooperatives.

The dinner, part of the museum’s Cocktails and Culture series, features more than 25 chefs and complements the Witte’s newest exhibition. Backyard Adventures, which is open through May 3, shows the hidden treasures surrounding our homes through interactive displays, including a bee-vision simulator, garden golf, and an augmented reality garden bed.

Backyard Adventures is all about exploring the critters under your decks and the crazy creatures that live in your backyard,” Rendon says. “[Bug Bites] just seemed like a perfect match.”

The Witte held a similar event in 2016 as part of its Salud! Series. While that was a more structured meal, Bug Bites takes a casual approach.

There will also be beverages from local breweries and distilleries, a DJ, and an opportunity to build your own miniature beer garden with hops and other plants that you can take with you as a souvenir.

Of the estimated 30 million species of insects on the planet, humans eat only about 2,000 of them. By attending Bug Bites, you just might be exploring the new frontier of food.

June


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The June 2020 issue of Texas Highways Magazine, Off the Beaten Coast


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