Valentine special – Insect cocktail in Tokyo

Feb 14, 2017
Woman drinks a cocktail with whipped cream containing juice of water bugs at Duranbar, Tokyo last Sunday..
Woman drinks a cocktail with whipped cream containing juice of water bugs at Duranbar, Tokyo last Sunday..

Tired of the usual box of chocolates?

Try a bug cocktail or a caramel creepy crawly for Valentine’s Day.

Welcome TO Duranbar in central Tokyo, Japan, which has offered a Valentine special to its guests, more exciting than wine, dine and dinner.

Duranbar on Sunday offered courageous couples and curious gourmets a special menu of desserts and drinks made with insects ahead of Tuesday’s Valentine holiday.

“They are crispy like the skin of walnuts and go pretty well with chocolate,” said Sayumi Makino, 20, at the Duranbar in central Tokyo.

Caramelised bugs are served up for customers at Duranbar, Tokyo last Sunday as part of Valentine celebration ... photo Reuters.
Caramelised bugs are served up for customers at Duranbar, Tokyo last Sunday as part of Valentine celebration … photo Reuters.

The special menu ranged from a cranberry and water bug cocktail to caramelised worms with almonds and cashews.

The whipped cream on some desserts included the internal fluids of giant Thai water bugs, known for their sweet taste.

While insects can be found in some regional cuisines, bugs are not a common menu item across Japan.

Yuta Shinohara, a university student who organised the bug cocktail night, said he wanted to promote an alternative food culture.

“I love insects and I think it’s really fun to eat them,” he said, adding they are also a sustainable food source.

A female guest attempted to eat a water bug at Duranbar, Tokyo last Sunday.
A female guest attempted to eat a water bug at Duranbar, Tokyo last Sunday.

Insects can be a rich source of fat, protein, vitamins, fiber and minerals, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

The composition of unsaturated omega-3 and six fatty acids in mealworm is comparable to that in fish and higher than in beef and pork, it says.

Globally, at least 2 billion people eat insects and more than 1,900 species have been used for food, according to the FAO, which said eating insects can play a key role in food security and environmental protection. – The Japan Times

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