To Bee or Not to Bee: By Pete Mulvihill

Don’t forget: the book mentioned below is available at 20 percent off for tablehopper readers for two weeks following this mention at Green Apple Books—simply use the code “tablehopper” at checkout (either at the store or online) for your discount.

The Insect Cookbook: Food for a Sustainable Planet

The Insect Cookbook: Food for a Sustainable Planet
Arnold van Huis, Henk van Gurp, Marcel Dicke

The time has finally come for me to review a cookbook without actually cooking anything from it. I know, bad journalism. But I’m a bookseller, not a journalist. And if you gave me one of the wontons pictured on page 48 and didn’t tell me what was in it, I’d gladly eat it, and probably like it, and even after you told me what was in it, I’d eat another. But I can’t fire up the stove for this one.

What the hell am I blathering on about? The Insect Cookbook: Food for a Sustainable Planet by Arnold van Huis, Henk van Gurp, and Marcel Dicke (Columbia University Press, $27.95).

Need I go on? You probably either know you want it already or would never crack the spine, so what more to say?

Well, it’s an interesting read in and of itself, not just a recipe book. In fact, from the Kofi Annan piece focused on educating Western eaters to the analysis of health benefits, this book is thought-provoking at the very least. It’s also beautifully done, with lots of full-color photos—a great value at only $27.95. And yes, there are notes on sourcing (though they’re minimal).

As for the recipes, some put the insect front and center, like the pizza with grasshoppers and mealworms or the hopper kebabs (NOT tablehopper, but grasshopper, of course). Others hide the protein a bit, like insect burgers or the ravioli. If anything, I’d note that most of the recipes rely on grasshoppers and mealworms (the crunchy tarantula recipe notwithstanding). I mean, what am I supposed to do with these termites? Oh yeah, page 30…

Thanks for reading.