Sunday, May 22, 2005

German restaurant delights diners with fried maggots

Sarah Azubi, 17, had hers deep fried. "They were crunchy like chips and tasted a bit like nuts,". "There was a soft juicy bit in the middle around the crunchy shell." Another diner, Nancy Weinhold, 25, was less convinced by the plump maggots. "I will try most things once but was really tempted to give this a miss," she said. "They looked disgusting - two-inch long, fat, squishy grubs that looked as if they should have been eating the lettuce, not lying on it waiting to be eaten. I closed my eyes for the first bite, but they were really not that bad." Few diners seem to share her reservations. Since the head chef, Uwe Engert, started dishing up yellow kingworms (Zophobas morio) in everything from salads to cocktails as a "nutritious and extremely tasty" alternative, the Espitas has been full every night. Mr Engert himself is a convert, describing the beetle larvae as a "protein bomb for those who are not too squeamish". The restaurant owner, Alexander Wolf, stumbled across the delicacy during a trip to Mexico. Given the popularity of Mr Engert's larvae salads at €13 (£8.90), fried larvae with cactus and corn (€19), and larvae in ice cream or chocolate sauce (€7), he now intends to branch out into grasshopper and ant dishes.


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