Insects on the Menu – Entomophagy in Prague

Jiskra loves to experiment with food and began cooking with insects five years ago. The lunch menu was much more extensive than the average insect tasting with mealworms, crickets, grasshoppers and cockroaches on offer. You could eat a three-course cricket meal with crickets in the soup as well as the typically-Czech fried cheese but also covered in chocolate as dessert…

Wednesday, March 16th was a special day for Prague-based HP and Microsoft employees who were offered insect meals for lunch. The seemingly ordinary cafeteria was decorated with plastic spiders, allergy warnings and facts about entomophagy.

“The six-legged menu attracted people who really wanted to experiment,” said Martin Jiskra, head chef and manager of Momento DELTA restaurant. “I was nervous at first but it turned out to be a great success.”

Jiskra loves to experiment with food and began cooking with insects five years ago. The lunch menu was much more extensive than the average insect tasting with mealworms, crickets, grasshoppers and cockroaches on offer. You could eat a three-course cricket meal with crickets in the soup as well as the typically-Czech fried cheese but also covered in chocolate as dessert.

“It was the first time I organized an insect-eating event in a restaurant like this,” Jiskra said, “but the outcome was so good that we’ll probably do it again.”

Although it was the first insect feast at Momento DELTA, insect tasting events are fairly common in the Czech Republic, however, selling them as food in a supermarket isn’t exactly legal. According to Czech law, insects arenot considered a food which makes them unsuitable for human consumption.

This law doesn’t make serving insects illegal at events – however, it prevents restaurants from having them on their permanent menu. However for events like this, if you follow all the hygiene laws and regulations, there are no problems. Jiskra has proved this before when he served other exotic meals including bear and zebra meat.

The chef points out that cooking with insects is much safer than handling common meats such as beef and chicken. There are no GMOs or antibiotics in insects and they cannot carry any diseases that are harmful to humans because they would die from them too. There are no safety concerns from an insect from a certified breeder that is handled correctly – with the exception of allergies: people who are allergic to shellfish are warned that they may react similarly when eating insects.

Before cooking insects, Jiskra recommends that chefs and culinary enthusiasts read published literature about the topic. There are currently four books about entomophagy in Czech and they explain how to handle the insects prior to cooking them.

The insects served in Momento DELTA were closely watched to ensure that they look healthy, aren’t eating their excrements and were fed oregano for two days to enhance their flavor. The feedback on the event was great and approximately 480 insect meals were served. While the restaurant received fewer visitors than usual, very few people asked for insect-less meals.

Two days before the event, Jiskra organized a presentation to explain the benefits and history of insect-eating around the world. Insects contain proteins, minerals and enzymes that are great for the human body. They can also be bred, reared and processed much more sustainably than other meats which could have a large positive impact on the environment and the economy. Currently, the largest issues are the legal and bureaucratic ones.

“If people’s attitude and understanding about eating insects changes; laws will too,” concludes Jiskra.

Originally published here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/olena-kagui/insects-on-the-menu_b_9506770.html

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Creating A Startup Across Oceans And Time Differences

Ece Ergüney is the co-founder of two startups together with her business partner, Milan Hnátek. Their inspiring story shows that motivation is all you need to succeed: they drafted a business plan while they lived on opposite sides of the world and took a unique approach to launching two businesses almost simultaneously.
Read the full article on Prague.TV’s website. The best place to discover Prague, like a local!

ENTOVIEW WITH EDIBLE BUG SHOP

Skye Blackburn is an entomologist and food scientist living in Australia. She is dedicated to educating people about insects and other invertebrates in a way that is fun and interactive. She is also the owner of Edible Bug Shop and a world leader in edible insect farming techniques, developing edible insect products and educating the general public about the benefits of insects as a food source.

http://www.ediblebugfarm.com/blog/entoview-with-edible-bug-shop/

ENTOVIEW WITH AGRIPROTEIN

AgriProtein is leading a new nutrient recycling industry to deal with the urgent need for new sustainable sources of protein. The man behind AgriProtein, Jason Drew, established the company in 2008 and plans to start a revolution in sustainable animal protein by 2020.

http://www.ediblebugfarm.com/blog/entoview-with-agriprotein/

ENTOVIEW WITH BUGSOLUTELY

Not many of us can say that we played a significant part in the start of an idea or concept that shapes the way the world works. Even for those in the right place at the right time, such as for the web innovators of Silicon Valley in the 90s, the next leap forward is often an unexpected one.

Age Shouldn’t Matter: Story of Successful Student’s Startup

“Having a challenge and doing new things that no one has ever done before motivates me,” says Vojtech Stehno, the owner and CFO at Foreigners.cz. Together with Andrea Teichmannova they started the company in 2009 when they were both 23-year-old students at the University of Hradec Kralove.

http://www.youth-time.eu/articles/age-shouldn-t-matter-story-of-successful-student-s-startup?highlight=WyJvbGVuYSIsImthZ3VpIiwib2xlbmEga2FndWkiXQ==

Up Close and Personal with… Alena Wilson, Prague’s Queen of LBDs

Alena Wilson is a 37-year-old fashion designer from the Czech Republic. She has two kids, a girl who is six, and a boy who is four. Her husband is American and runs his own business in Prague. They live in a household with two cocker spaniels, black and gold, and two goldfish that were recently bought behind her back by her husband and children… Alena sighs with a smile.

Fact box:

The LBD or little black dress is an essential part of a woman’s wardrobe. Coco Chanel was the first to make it ever-present in an edition of American Vogue in 1926. It was presented as simple yet elegant and Vogue predicted that it would shape the future.

The Bridge: What motivated you to start your company?

Alena Wilson: My passion for fashion. Originally I studied economic foreign trade but I always had a huge passion for creativity since I was 15. I think this is one of my strong positions that I have 16 years of experience in PR and business. I absolutely love the creative process. I did nine years of art school beside my study. That helped me also.

TB: What makes your business unique?

AW: The concept of using real women. I don’t agree with the top fashion world using underweight or photo-shopped models. People misunderstand, I don’t mean fat people; I mean healthy women. My models are size 38+.

TB: What does fashion mean to you personally?

AW: I think that fashion is something that should support who you are. I want women to see the options and choose what suits their body type and personality. For me, fashion is a really strong tool that can help introduce other people to your personality. People always first judge you based on your looks.

TB: Who is your favorite designer and why?

AW: I like elegant, sexy and romantic stuff so I really like Valentino. I really like the detail that he puts into his dresses. He is someone I really look up to. He creates his own materials and patterns. I think that he’s the one. I look at many designers and they inspire me but he’s above all what I really love.

TB: What is an LBD and why is it so important to have (at least) one?

AW: A little black dress is something that I first started with because it was missing from the industry. An LBD is simple and can be worn for many occasions because you can go anywhere in it. Especially in Prague, it is normal to wear an LBD not just for a special occasion. It’s good to have two LBDs in your wardrobe; one very simple dress to combine with a variety of accessories, and a more unique one that’s more fun or sexy.

TB: What did your first LBD look like?

AW: The last kick to starting my own brand was when I was in Boston with my husband at a Harvard black-tie reunion. I always create my own dress for parties so I created a unique LBD. I used lace with Swarowski stones in the back. I got loads of compliments and several ladies asked where I had purchased the dress. That was when I decided to start drawing my first LBD collection.

TB: What inspires your designs?

AW: It’s mainly women’s curves and strong women. A strong woman in the terms of giving birth and managing everything. Their curves inspire me to make them more beautiful in my dresses. I always think of how to show the good things and hide the flaws and that’s what really inspires me.

TB: What is the best place to people watch in Prague?

AW: At night you see what people like to wear when they try to look their best. You can just sit on a bench and watch the chaos. If you really want to see the average cut of what people wear day to day, the best place is to sit in a mall. Pastacafee Lamborgini on Vodičkova in Prague 1 is my favorite café to people watch over my cappuccino.

TB: What is the best accessory?

AW: Hmm trick question. There is one thing that women forget about the most. They go to any big or small event wearing the most fantastic outfit but they have absolutely miserable hair, hanging with no concept to it. Hair is a very important accessory. You should always do something with it, even putting it in a ponytail to give it style.