The California State Fair is coming up in a few weeks. It is earlier the last few years, because the old August dates were darn hot and with that sumbitch global warming it was only going to get hotter so they moved it back to July and, today, it is a balmy 70 degrees. For residents of the once-hot Sacramento area, climate change has been a real boon, though drought in the South shows that they are not so lucky.
And the California State Fair means...eating bugs? Maybe. Daniella Martin will be there and she wants to change your mind about how awesome bugs are. In fact, she wants you to eat them.
And larvae, she says, are basically the veal of the insect world. They are that good. Or she means because they are young. I am not sure.
Like KFC, Daniella Martin has a secret recipe - and she lets you know in advance about the bugs in her food.
Modern Western culture frowns on eating bugs just like it frowns on eating cats. The whole reason for progress was to be as mentally separate from our food as possible and kids want to eat a Happy Meal, not cut off part of a cow with a knife. Martin instead kicks it old school and, nutritionally, she is dead right. Per munchable calorie, the Marlboro College graduate notes, bugs have terrific protein. Unlike our ancestors, you probably don't want to eat bugs raw, though, unless you are sure your favorite grub is free of pesticides - though that goes for just about anything.
So since she advocates cooking critters, she produces recipes and shares them with the world. Here's one:
Recipe for a Bee-L.T.
Forget bacon, lettuce and tomato in your B.L.T., Martin wants you to use a literal bee. Sure, you use the same bread and lettuce and tomato, but instead of bacon you saute bee larvae in some butter and salt and a few drops of honey, then mix all that into an egg white and cook it so it forms a patty. When that is cooked through, put some mayonnaise on toast, and you are ready to go.
Here is Martin eating a scorpion.
Seriously, she'll eat anything. She'll pop a cockroach right into her mouth. So much for them surviving a nuclear holocaust; they'll only last as long as she is nowhere to be found.
Want some music to set the mood for watching a woman eat bugs? Zack Lemann and Jayme Necaise from the Audubon Insectarium are here to help. After that I am off to make some waxworm tacos.