For lunch today, how about a steaming bowl of "clorm" chowder? That would be clam chowder with added protein in the form of mealworms. For dessert, take a big bite of a chocolate "chirp" cookie. That crunch comes from the addition of cricket legs in the batter.
Intrigued? The specialty menu by chefs Donna German and Visnja Zarak of Hostess Catering in Woburn is available this afternoon at Faneuil Hall, as part of Global Pestaurant Day, sponsored by Ehrlich Pest Control. Yep, a pest control company. But The Boston Herald reports this isn't just a publicity stunt. The pop-up is designed to raise awareness about the issue of finding cheap, sustainable protein to feed communities worldwide.
"We need to be imaginative about how we feed people as population grows and puts pressure on food sources," Ehrlich’s North American vice president of marketing told the Herald.
There's a cricket-eating contest, and samples of Hostess Catering's cuisine are free. Ehrlich will make a donation to the Greater Boston Food Bank for every guest who tries some of the special sources of protein.
The chefs' menu adds the bugs to approachable comfort foods, easing some of the squeamishness Bostonians may feel about consuming them. Herald writer Kerry J. Byrne tried the chocolate chirp cookies, barbecue mealworm snacks, and a grasshopper turkey burger slider. "The bugs were not creepy crawly critters," he writes, noting the ingredients are heavily regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and packaged like more common supermarket items.
"The mealworms were crunchy and spicy. Each dish tasted perfectly fine, though the chunks of grasshopper stood out jarringly amid the light-colored meat of the otherwise scrumptious turkey burgers," Byrne assessed.
Try some cheap protein for yourself at the pop-up Pestaurant today. Located at 1 Faneuil Hall near the Samuel Adams statue entrance, the menu is available from 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.