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A Montreal Food Hall Is Serving Free Edible Bugs & I Tried Them So You Don't Have To (VIDEO)

They're basically just small crustaceans, y'all.

Staff Writer
The author eating bugs off of a cracker. Right, chef Daniel Vézina stands in front of the kiosk.

The author eating bugs off of a cracker. Right, chef Daniel Vézina stands in front of the kiosk.

Willa Holt | MTL Blog

Bugs might not be your idea of a balanced breakfast, but Montreal's Insectarium wants to change that. In a new partnership with Quebecois celebrity chef Daniel Vézina, the Insectarium is bringing health-conscious bug-infused bites to bring extra protein and a sustainable snap to your daily meals — at least, that's the idea.

I Tried Edible Bugs From A Montreal Food Hall & I Was Honestly Surprisedyoutu.be

These foods will be sold at the Insectarium, but for now, they're being given away for free at Montreal's downtown food hall, Le Central, where a kiosk cutely named "Entomo-miam" is serving up cricket-and-nut mixes and chips fortified with pulverized mealworms.

Clockwise from top: cricket-and-almond mix, energy ball and a crisp with tomato tapenade.Clockwise from top: cricket-and-almond mix, energy ball and a crisp with tomato tapenade.Willa Holt | MTL Blog

The four delicacies being offered by Entomo-miam (until November 5, so hurry up!) include a nuts-and-date-and-chocolate-and-mealworm energy ball and a buggy crisp covered in a sundried tomato tapenade which also has mealworm beetles in it. There was also an almond mix with crispy crickets in it, and a cookie stick dipped in honey and coated in edible wildflowers. Yum!

Of the foods available, I could only try three — the flower stick was devoured before I had the chance to taste it, so maybe it's the standout option on the menu. All of the snacks provided are intended to be healthy, which means they suffer from that eternal plight of healthy foods: they can never be as delicious as unhealthy ones.

The four snacks created by Vézina are specifically tailored to Quebec tastes, according to the Insectarium's director, Maxim Larrivée. But how did they taste?

A close-up of the crickets chilling with the almonds.A close-up of the crickets chilling with the almonds.Willa Holt | MTL Blog

My final verdict is that Entomo-miam's buggy treats are all remarkably edible, especially considering the philosophy behind them was to inject insect ingredients in otherwise recognizable foods.

The energy balls were underwhelming, with a mild and pleasant nutty flavour and some light sweetness. I wanted more of that sweetness to distract me from eating bugs, and I didn't go back for a third bite. The almond-and-cricket mix was just some almonds and some crickets. If you can stomach an almond, you can probably stomach a cricket. I just wish there had been a bit more punch — again, I found myself thinking about the fact that I was eating bugs more than enjoying any flavour they were imparting.

Perhaps it would have been tastier to prepare bugs the way they're often eaten in bug-savvy cultures, rather than attempting to simply hide the insects in more standard Canadian fare. To hammer this point home, the low point of the bug snacks was not even the part where I actually ate a straight-up bug, but instead the strangely dried-tea flavour of the bug-infused tapenade. I've simply had much better tapenades — ones that my party guests won't have any qualms with eating.

    Willa Holt
    Staff Writer
    Willa Holt is a Staff Writer for MTL Blog focused on apartments for rent and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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