You may have seen the episode of Shark Tank when Chapul appeared--the one where they revealed that it was crickets inside the energy bars with the corny yet appropriately delivered joke about frogs being happy because......
They eat what bugs them!
Yes, great joke. I was interested as I tuned in, the pitch was full of smart ideas -- beyond the cute joke -- centering around water conservation. This issue is one that I've been increasingly aware and concerned with as I watch my boys grow in an uncertain world, listening to the news of droughts, crazy weather, agriculture challenges, and many more issues that are all related to water conservation. I appreciate anyone stepping up to try and solve those issues.
The Meat and Bones ... Err, The Crickets
The bars contain crickets -- that's not really a secret, since the cricket emblem is on the front of the packaging. Many folks don't know how sustainable cricket protein is though. Crickets are farmed and they are super rich in protein and micronutrients that we are seeking out in our diets already. Why not put them in an energy bar? Sustainability is important to our family of natural resource-minded adventurers.
As I searched out soy-free options that could easily be stuffed into our packs when we hike this summer. I didn't tell anyone about the cricket part until after the initial tasting and the results were mixed.
I'm excited to try the cricket flour, so I can determine the taste of it alone and then try the bars again. I went for the Aztec bar immediately, but my frail palette could not get past the cayenne -- my husband tells me the coffee was bold and delicious, mixed with the dark chocolate, but my mouth was on fire and I couldn't distinguish the other flavors well. I am such a weenie when it comes to heat!
So, I moved on to a more delicate and familiar combination -- chocolate and peanut butter! In the absence of cayenne, I was able to savor the flavors better. With the plain flour for baking, I will hopefully taste the differences from traditional flours we use and figure out what the mild taste of the cricket really is. The concensus? Chapul bars are yummy!
Have you experienced insects in food? Maybe visited another country where eating insects is more widely offered in daily life? Would you consider eating cricket protein? Let me know what you think of this concept!
Disclosure: I received a complimentary sampler of the Chapul bars to try out!