EDIBLE by Daniella Martin

EDIBLE

An Adventure into the World of Eating Insects and the Last Great Hope to Save the Planet

KIRKUS REVIEW

Digging into the latest culinary trend, “entomophagist,” or bug-eating expert, Martin expounds upon the “ecological, nutritional, economic, global and culinary” benefits of consuming insects.

The author’s interest in eating insects began when she was studying pre-Columbian food and medicine in Mexico, where she intentionally ate her first bug. Later, she read a galvanizing article detailing a bug cook-off between insect chefs in Virginia. “The article discussed new research on insects as a possible global food source, a potential solution to world hunger, and an eco-friendly alternative to beef and other livestock,” she writes. The author’s conversational style blends science, popular culture and personal insights, and she chronicles her interviews with a host of bug-cuisine promoters, including chefs, environmental consultants and entomologists. Martin also discusses her visits to a pop-up food market in San Francisco; a lab in Holland devoted to studying “the potential of edible insects as a food source for humans and animals,” and a fried-insect stall in Thailand. The author deconstructs the various tastes and textures encountered while munching on insects—e.g., crickets are nutty; bee larvae resemble bacon-chanterelles; giant water bugs emit the scent of a crisp green apple. Overall, insects possess a generally nutty taste, which blooms when roasted. Rich in minerals, their exoskeletons provide a pleasing crunch. For those seeking new culinary adventures, Martin includes helpful tips for raising bugs at home, an essential list of edible insects, cooking basics, and recipes for preparing a host of delights, including wax moth tacos, salty-sweet wax worms, sweet-and-spicy summer June bugs and cricket-y kale salad. Never didactic, Martin gently nudges readers toward open-mindedness at the prospect of eating bugs: “Why not make the best of what we have the most of?”

Regardless of readers’ culinary proclivities, Martin’s lively book poses timely questions while offering tasty solutions.

Pub Date: Feb. 11th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-544-11435-7
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Amazon/New Harvest
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2014




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