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Sunday October 20, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday October 20, 2013 MYT 9:23:32 AM
by kim willsher
Bug bling: Even coated in edible gold dust, there is no chance of mistaking the once-living decorations perched atop the chocolates. — Photos AFP
Chocolate-maker Sylvain Musquar
has so far sold 60 boxes of his worm and cricket-topped confections for RM95 each.
FROM the country that brought the world the culinary delights of snails in garlic, frogs’ legs and foie gras, comes another gastronomic first: cricket and worm chocolates.
Not to everyone’s taste, admits French chocolate-maker Sylvain Musquar, who suggests customers should avoid looking closely at the original handmade confectionary in pride of place in his patisserie shop in Nancy.
“You mustn’t fix your eyes too much on them, or pay too much attention, otherwise you won’t eat them,” Musquar said.
Even coated in edible gold dust, and even at a glance, there is no chance of mistaking the once-living decorations perched atop the chocolates.
Musquar, who uses a pair of tweezers to delicately place each insect or worm on the squares of chocolate “that shouldn’t be too soft or too hard”, says he came up with the idea while visiting Asia.
“There, eating insects is popular and part of the culture. I’m a chocolate maker, and I thought, why not mix the two,” Musquar told France 3 television.
He admits the crickets and mealworms he uses need a little “make-up ... to make them a bit sexy” in the form of gold dust before being presented to the paying, consuming public.
“It makes them a bit more appetising and it covers the natural brown colour of the insects that might put people off,” he added.
For un-squeamish patriots heeding the siren call of the Made-in-France campaign, there is good news: the chocolates are 100% national produce.
The insects and worms are supplied by MicroNutris, a Toulouse-based specialist company that formed in 2011. “We began producing insects after a United Nations report on food and agriculture suggested they might be the solution to hunger in the world,” Cedric Auriol, company founder, told Le Monde.
The crickets are raised for eight weeks, and the mealworms, 12 weeks, during which Auriol says they are fed a “diet rich in vitamins, minerals and saturated fatty acids”.
Was this what the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation had in mind when it suggested eating insects – or to give its proper name entomophagy – might be a solution to global hunger?
Musquar believes mixing them with chocolate might just make the idea more palatable and plenty of customers agree: he has already sold around 60 boxes of nine chocolates for ‚22 (RM94.50) each. — Guardian News & Media
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Lifestyle, insects, insect chocs, chocolates, Sylvain Musquar, worm, cricket
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