In the Spotlight: Essento edible insects are the “new beef” in Swiss gastronomy.

Bug-a-boo! Edible insects are the new hottest trend to crawl into popular gastronomy. Either as an exotic ingredient in a 3-star appetiser or in your favourite granola bar, bugs such as mealworm, crickets or ants are becoming more popular in the Western world and there’s a new product range in town to get you thinking differently about creepy-crawlies! Here’s the inside scoop straight from Essento’s HQ…

As a dietitian, I’m always on the lookout for the hottest, nutritious trends taking over and it looks like bugs are the next big thing! Sustainable nutrition has been a hot topic for a while and perhaps edible insects would hold the answer to a more environmentally friendly approach to eating. Insects have been part of some communities for hundreds of years and in the 5 and a half years of living in Switzerland, I have just come across a product range that aims to change how we view these critters. Enter Essento. Speaking to their head of marketing and sales, Melchior Füglistaller,  we went through a mini Q&A to learn more about their venture:

What is Essento about and who are the faces behind it?
We all got this vision to improve food consumption patterns and to create ecological and social value with insects as food. Therefore, Essento stands for opening a new culinary experience whilst bringing the food-revolution on the table. Matthias Grawehr and Christian Bärtsch, founders of Essento, decided to pursue the idea and build up an interdisciplinary team step by step. Their advisory board now consists of various experts who are actively offering their support to help Essento fulfil its mission.

How are the public and Swiss food industry reacting to your product range?
We’ve received a lot of positive feedback. Our customers are surprised at how delicious insects can taste and​ o​ur products sold out immediately after launching. That is definitely a good sign! 

Why should we start adding insects to our diet?
In brief, insects taste delicious! Nutritionally, they are good for your health as a source of high quality protein, vitamins, minerals such as iron and zinc as well as unsaturated fats. An important aspect to point out is about preserving our planet – the production of insects requires way less resources in comparison to conventional meat production.

Where can we find your product range?
Currently, Essento can be found at Coop Supermarkets, certain retailers, several restaurants and in our webshop.

Is there a recipe we should all try using Essento?
The Essento insect burger & balls can be used in so many creative ways. Also, the crickets marinated and fried in beer batter are definitely mouth-watering. We’ve got a few recipes on our website for people to try so why not go for the Polenta-Mealworm-Roulade?

If you’ve got a recipe to share using your favourite critters, let us know in the comments section! Not sure if I’ll be bugging out just yet, but watch this space!

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