food

Tasting notes: insect falafels

There’s no shortage of snack bars on the market, but more unusual insect foods take a little tracking down. That’s something I’ve learned over the last few weeks. There’s no online store for insect foods, no central hub. Insect ingredients are still hard to source at scale, and most companies aren’t shipping through mainstream retailers yet. It takes a fair amount of dedication to track down insect foods at the moment, perhaps unsurprisingly. Shipping costs make some of the more exotic produce very expensive.

I have a few more things in the post, and I’ll get to them in due course. For today, let me tell you about a small British company called Cornish Edible Insects. Cornwall has built up something of a reputation for good food and for sustainability, so it’s a good place to be based. Started in 2015, Cornish Edible Insects has a small range of products so far, and the one that caught my eye as a unique idea is their falafel mix with mealworms and crickets. I like a good falafel, and this particular product had won gold at the Taste of the West awards, so it looked like a good bet.

The mix came through the post in a modest cardboard packet that revealed a hint of gold if you turned it in the light. I emptied the fine powdery contents into a bowl with some water, and my four year old daughter mixed it and shaped it into approximations of a falafel for me to fry.

A few minutes later, I have a small plateful of falafels, slightly crispy on the outside. The texture is spot on, with the sesame seeds providing a touch of crunch. The balance of spices is perfect. I can see why this has won awards.

The kids eat these with no questions asked. My wife takes the world’s smallest bite, and then a larger one. She likes it, though she does point out that if this is a falafel made with insects, “isn’t that basically a meatball?”

Another win for the insect eating. These really are very good, and you can buy them here.

4 comments

  1. My wife and I tried these tonight and I’d have to say they made very tasty falafels. We are normally vegetarian, bordering on vegan, but eating insects does not conflict with our reasons for being so. To be honest we could not tell that these were any different from normal falafels, they had a slightly smoother texture than I’m used to but the flavour gave no hint that there were any unusual ingredients. We ate them with some home made humous with braised cabbage and potatoes alongside and it was a very enjoyable meal. The falafels were very easy to make and would, in my opinion, make a very useful storecupboard standby for a quick and easy lunch or dinner. We don’t lack protein in our diet but I’d buy these again just for the taste and covenience as well as to support a worthy new venture.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience of them. I’ve heard a couple of vegetarian/vegan friends say something similar. On their environmental impact and on animal welfare terms insect foods are categorically different.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s