As entomophagy popularizer, I feel encouraged when I’m in front of two equally-stimulated and willing-to-repropose persons as I am. You got it right: re-propose, because human entomophagy it’s just forgotten, but had lived in the same places in which we’re living now. Entomophagy as “knowledge” able to translate flavors of the past, as man/nature balance, entomophagy as biological and natural way of living the “re-proposed food”, to give food an identity, engaging with the past for a certain future.
The book “An insect in the plate” (Il Castello Editore) from Giulia Maffei and Giulia Tacchini (Entonote) re-proposes the concept disguised as “new”, with a very light reading-key capable to underline its most positive aspects: sensorial -because taste is the master and not prejudice- and environmental.
Why did you feel the desire write this book?
GM: First because in Italy a comprehensive book explaining entomophagy from multiple perspectives and presenting recipes with edible insects had not been written yet. Then because Entonote has the aim to communicate entomophagy, and a book is a wonderful way to communicate.
GT: In Italy insects as food are not popular yet, both for a cultural and normative factors. The book wants to give the public the main informations about entomophagy, to be ready when the legislative framework will be changed (hopefully soon).
Can you describe your book an with adjective?
When I discovered entomophagy for the first time it was through a book found in a bookstall, “Why not eat insects?” from Vincent M. Holt, an author who spoke of edible insects in the shadow of the victorian conformism; today you, as Holt in the early twentieth century, are trying to spread the same message. What difficulties do you think you’ll meet or are you already facing?
GM: We’ve never met difficulties in getting people experience this food; the difficulty is to take them beyond the first experience.
GT: The difficulty is not to convince the public to try insects, but to bring this food to the italian tables.
When discussing this book with your family and friends, what are the reactions?
GM: All positive of course! Write a book and see it published is a beautiful thing. Because of our interest and passion on this topic some people consider us mythical, other completely crazy.
The search for “taste” often bumps into social barriers; as “Entomophagy Expert Consultant” how are you trying to involve restaurant-professionals in the edible insects world?
GT: For restaurant-professionals who like new challenges, insects are a kind of food that intrigues a lot both for their taste and their consistency. Our work with them is the know-how exchange to develop new recipes and ways to make edible insects more and more appreciated by the consumers.
Which insect best fits the “italian taste”?
GM & GT: Crickets, without a doubt.
Which recipe would you recommend to our readers?
GM & GT: Crickets roasted with oil and onion, simple and tasty. Even better if cooked by us…