Have Mercy…

IMG_9245.JPGCityPages raises a good point: When’s the last time you took a break for Taco Tuesday?

If it’s been a while, you’re in luck! In downtown Minneapolis, executive Chef Gustavo Romero is bringing Taco Tuesday back to Mercy Bar and Dining Room for special Tuesday evening pop-ups. Per CityPages: “Using heirloom corn direct from Mexico, chef Romero crafts house-made tortillas, hand-grinding the corn to make tortillas for the specialty tacos. Four variations are available: a seasonal fried fish, chipotle chicken, pork confit, and steak, all available a la carte and uncoursed. Supplementing these are a “Latin-inspired soup,” quesadillas, and an assortment of vegetable sides, many of which are drawn from Romero’s own family recipes.”

And did we mention….crickets are on the menu?? Romero is using 3 Cricketeers crickets in a variety of delicious dishes! One standout is the Tlayudas, also known as “Mexican Pizza.” It is topped with nixtamal, beans, chorizo, quesillo, and chapulin (our locally harvested 3 Cricketeers crickets!)

Reservations are recommended, as the Takeover is in the Library Bar (a slightly smaller space). You can share the event with your friends using this Facebook link. Tuesday Takeovers are EVERY single Tuesday from 6:00-pm-9:00pm.

Hope to see you soon: We’ll be the people face-deep in tacos, with margaritas and crickets in hand!

Four Holiday Cookie Recipes (Chirp, Chirp)

We’re excited to share that we’ll be able to share quite a few more cricket recipes developed by our team in the coming weeks (and some video too, huzzah!) In the meantime, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Santa Claus, or anything and everything in between, it just feels like a good time of year to make cookies in honor of something. And although we never need an excuse to eat sweet treats (raise your hand if you’re part of the sweet tooth club…it’s a blessing and a curse), there’s something about the chilly weather that makes cookie-time extra appropriate.

Soon, our cricket powder will be available for you to buy (and make cookies with!!!) In the meantime, here are some cricket cookie recipes for you to think on and perhaps try out. Stay tuned for more exciting announcements in the next few weeks: The Cricketeers are cookin’!

Bite-Sized Chocolate Chip Cricket Cookies from Entomo Farms: Approximately 40 bite-sized chocolate chip cookies, perfect for freezing and snacking? Sign us up.

Choco-Chirpies from Bug Vivant: Moist and chewy with protein, fiber, and calcium. Count us in!

Peanut Butter and Blueberry Cricket Cookies: Doesn’t your pet deserve some sweet treats, too? This sustainable company aims to nourish pets AND “promote long-term stewardship of the earth.” Try a treat!

Vanilla Chocolate Chip Cookies: Want to switch it up from the usual chocolate chip cookie routine? This dough makes thick, mini-muffin-esque cookies (which is NOT a bad thing, in our books)

The Future of Food at Costa Blanca Bistro

In case you missed our earlier posts from last month, we were busy enjoying ourselves at the Pre Hispanic Insect Dinner, hosted by Costa Blanca Bistro. They’re true trailblazers in the Twin Cities. Chefs Hector Ruiz, Gustavo Romero, and Mario Davalos invented a creative menu inspired by insects, their heritage, and innovative ingredients, and it was an evening truly worth “bugging out” over (we couldn’t help the pun!) Costa Blanca, chef Hector Ruiz’s fourth restaurant in the Twin Cities, has been making a name for itself thanks to their unique dishes that become beautiful works of art.

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“Insects, as we know, have been an integral part of diets around the world, providing a sustainable, economic source of protein in cultures from South America, Africa, Australia, and other countries,” the restaurant writes. This particular dinner, however, was inspired by traditional recipes eaten by the chefs while growing up in Mexico, and it was truly something special.

Each course was inventive and exciting, paired with either a beer, a wine, fresh prickly pear water, a granita, or a cocktail. Highlights included gyoza filled with acocil (Mexican crayfish), shrimp, lobster, and insect powder, inflated corn tortillas filled with worm ants and sauteed with epazote butter, a corn dough boat with cocopache (Mexican beetle salsa), and much more. Take a look at the full menu below to see the inventive and exciting dishes dreamed up the crew.

We had an incredible time, met new friends, and ate delicious food. Take a look at the images below to see what each dish looked like. Which would you try, if you could?

New Study: Eating Crickets is Good for the Gut


Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock this year, you’ve probably seen all sorts of articles all over the news, spouting tips and tricks about how to have a healthy gut. “Gut” seems to be the buzzword here, and people have become pretty fascinated with having a clean and well-functioning one. Despite the “buzz” factor, there’s a lot of truth to most of the research that attempts to prove that gut health has a massive impact on overall health. A healthy gut equates to health skin, hair, immune system, nervous system, and the list goes on.

That’s why we were pretty excited to see the newest research this month, which proves that eating cricket powder can have a definitive, noticeable impact on the good bacteria in your gut.

In a clinical trial at the University of Wisconsin- Madison,10 healthy adults ate breakfasts containing 25 grams of powdered crickets in muffins and shakes: “During the trial period, researchers collected blood samples and stool samples from participants, as well as answers to a gastrointestinal questionnaire before the study, after the first two-week diet period, and immediately after the second two-week diet period.”

And guess what? After the study, those who ingested the cricket powder experienced an increase in a metabolic enzyme associated with gut health, and an abundance of Bifidobacterium animalis, a strain of good bacteria in the gut. Wow!

“This study is important because insects represent a novel component in Western diets and their health effects in human populations haven’t really been studied,” says study co-author Tiffany Weir. Well, this certainly sounds like an exciting start.

You can read more about the full study here,but it’s also worth noting that the cricket-eaters also experienced a decrease in a protein that contributes to depression and cancer. Not too shabby.


[Photo credit: Cupcakes and Cutlery]

Why Do Humans Think It’s Gross to Eat Bugs?

Seek Cookbook


For most people in today’s world, asking them to eat a grasshopper or a maggot will most likely be met with repulsion or disgust. “Why would I eat a bug?” “I know it’s good for me, but I can’t get past how grossed out I am by eating bugs or insects.” “Why would I do that, when I can walk into Cub and purchase food that looks and sounds delicious?”


Those are all fair questions, but what’s crucial to understand is that being “grossed out” by eating bugs, whether they be crickets, grasshoppers, or worms, is purely a mental block. As Scientific American explains, this repulsion is simply the way our bodies have evolved to protects us from perceived dangers, even if the danger isn’t always really there: “We are taught to be careful as children; we are cautioned that wasps will sting us, that flies carry diseases, and that beetles can bite. These messages are often reinforced through chance encounters with insect members of the natural world.”


In other words? Your “yuck” reaction is all in your head. Biologically, your body is just trying to keep you safe. It’s the same reason we’re repulsed by thinking about drinking chunky milk or yogurt with a green film on top: Our bodies know that the spoiled product will hurt us, so it keeps us “creeped out” to keep us safe.


While our bodies have the best intentions, this “yuck” response when it comes to bugs is misguided in this day and age. Eating bugs, like our farm-raised, Minnesota-grown crickets, is completely safe and more importantly, really, really good for you. The only way to overcome our own natural instincts is through education, as the Tasting Kitchen notes:


It’s through education, increasing familiarity and incorporating bugs into gourmet cuisine that we can breakdown the association with disease and consequentially, extinguish feelings of disgust. If insects are indeed a solution to the impending food-pocalypse, then it’s critical that we break down the psychological barrier against entomophagy and begin to get on board with the food that others around the world have been enjoying for years!


Stay with us and check our Facebook page to keep up-to-date on our own batch of bugs as we educate and inspire the world to learn more about our edible insect friends!