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]