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Famed Culinary School Le Cordon Bleu Endorses Eating Insects

They served ant gin and cricket consomme at a recent seminar.

Cricket kebab, anyone?
Cricket kebab, anyone?

Eating bugs is so hot right now, even famed culinary school Le Cordon Bleu is getting in on the insect action. Last week a team of chefs and food scientists teamed up to host a seminar on cooking and eating bugs at the Bangkok outpost of the Paris-born cooking institute, says the Associated Press. Called "Edible Insects in a Gastronomic Context," it "included lectures and a tasting menu for 60 open-minded participants, a mix of student chefs, scientists, professors and insect farmers." The menu included ant-infused gin, cricket consomme, and an herb crisp topped with beetle butter.

Fried insects are a common snack in Thailand, AP points out, but for this event "the insects were not visible in the final products but artfully hidden, pureed into batters, their juices extracted for essence." The ant gin was the brainchild of Nordic Food Lab head chef Roberto Flore, who described it "as having 'an explosion of lemony taste' that came from acid produced in the ants' abdomens."

Despite Americans' general trepidation toward eating bugs, the movement clearly has some momentum: Airline Jet Blue has said it will begin serving cricket-based protein bars on its flights soon, and a brave college student recently embarked on a 30-day bug eating campaign with hopes that his fellow Americans would be inspired to sample the more sustainable protein sources.

People with certain food sensitivities might be off the hook, though: An insect expert who co-hosted the Le Cordon Bleu seminar said "anyone with a seafood allergy should probably steer clear of bugs."