Many readers probably wrinkled their noses when the UN Food and Agriculture Organization recently recommended that eating more insects could help fight world hunger. But one Tokyo-based restaurant has reacted to the news with surprising swiftness. On May 29, an Italian-style café in Kinshicho called Absente will be launching a dish that promises to test the stomachs of even the hardiest of diners: locust spaghetti.
In a country where eating grasshoppers is an activity usually reserved for the losing teams in sadistic TV game shows, the creators of the dish might have an uphill struggle convincing people that it’s actually ‘the next evolution in peperoncino’, as they claim. ‘It’s got a strong visual impact, but locusts are actually packed with protein, calcium and vitamin A,’ the press release squeals, pointing out that people ate them during the war in Japan to avoid malnutrition.
We expect that devotees of the Tokyo ‘mushikui’ (bug eating) scene will be lining up to slurp on some of this insect-infested spaghetti when it launches next week, priced at ¥1,200 a plate. For everyone else, we’d recommend a few glasses of Absente’s eponymous tipple before you start.