What NOT to Do with Cricket Flour

*Revelation since publishing this – what I have is cricket powder, not flour, meaning it’s just 100% ground crickets and not meant to be used as flour at all. Courtesy of Entomophagy Facebook group

The full scoop on how I failed at life (yes, I’m being overly dramatic) and wasted precious cricket flour:

You don’t need to be a great cook to get excited about cricket flour. New recipes pop up every day and the availability of the flour itself is on the rise. Want to know what doesn’t always rise? The batter.

Let me start at the very beginning…

It took me months to actually get decently priced cricket flour in the Czech Republic where eating insects is still technically “illegal”. At the moment insects are not considered suitable for human consumption and it will unfortunately stay that way until the EU agrees on some regulations.

There are ways to get around the law so there are bug-eating events and it is possible to legally order insect products from abroad (except from Amazon.com).

Anyway…

I finally managed to get a kilo of cricket flour through a friend and I didn’t let my lack of cooking experience hold me back. Finding a recipe online was surprisingly easy, I even had too many options! Desserts such as banana bread seemed a bit too advanced so I went with pancakes.

Pancakes are the only thing I am confident at cooking and I was happy to find a recipe that didn’t require substitution of regular flour. Pure cricket flour meant more protein and less guilt once I ate all the pancakes!

I turned up the music as I mixed the chocolaty-scented flour with some baking powder and a pinch of salt in one bowl. Then I combined melted butter, milk, eggs and vanilla in another. I wasn’t too worried about the unusual wetness of the light brown batter because I assumed that it was the cricket pancake norm.

The moment I poured half a cup of batter into the pan, my mistake became evident. Even at a low heat the batter exploded with air bubbles and refused to turn solid. After several minutes of panic, spatula aerobics and experimenting with the heat, I was forced to scrape burnt sad-looking crumbs off the frying pan.

Some self-pity, head-scratching and a glass of white wine later gave me courage to try and save the rest of the flour. It took at least 300 grams of regular all-purpose flower to give the batter a nice firm texture. I danced with joy as the glob of cricketness sizzled exactly the way a pancake should.

Very soon I had several beautifully fat pancakes stacked on a plate. I took photographic evidence and smothered them in maple syrup. Unfortunately it was not enough. Trying not to hurt my feelings but failing, my husband carefully said “hmm, they taste like crickets.”

We each ate an entire pancake with scrunched up noses and saved the rest for later (or more likely never). Tasting like crickets is not necessarily a bad thing unless you expected sweet chocolaty goodness. It’s comparable to taking a swig of milk when you think it’s orange juice.

Now I know to be wary of flour time and research before attempting to cook anything. There are plenty of Facebook groups and online forums to ask for advice. Also next time I will go with something that has more ingredients to avoid an overwhelming taste of crickets. So learn from my mistakes and don’t cry over failed pancakes! 🙂

Cricket flour can be ordered and shipped worldwide here.

Recipes are available here.

Get advice and meet fellow entomophagy enthusiasts here.

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