We’ve got seven peoples’ take on seven insects&wine pairings, to celebrate our launch, and we’re going to publish them daily over the next few days. Enjoy!
We’re going to travel backwards through the menu, and we begin with the most accessible insect to those living in Europe or the USA. Recipe & purchasing notes to follow!
After a decadent feast of spicy locusts, succulent caterpillars and surprisingly sweet grasshoppers we were presented with a final *bonus* course. On any other day being presented with a dish full of crispy crickets might have been disconcerting. However, having munched our way through six wildly different invertebrates and emboldened by several varieties of wine, by this point the prospect of crickets, apparently homegrown in Essex, seemed almost mundane.
The crickets arrived piping hot, freshly simmered in walnut oil and black pepper. For their small size they were remarkably flavourful. Their crispy exterior was combined with a very succulent and meaty texture, which was favourably compared with chicken nuggets. This may go some way to explaining their universal popularity, as a fried and extremely moreish snack to round out the evening. As far as pairing with wine, their striking similarity to chicken would suggest a crisp white wine. Though I think they would go equally well with a pint.
For a country whose culinary reputation leaves something to be desired these crickets were a surprising indication that British cuisine may have an unexpectedly bright, six-legged future!
Chris adds: Alex suggests ‘a crisp white wine.’ This makes one almost immediately think of something like a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. We didn’t have one of those at the tasting, so if we were to stick with the wines that were there, I’d suggest the Davenport Horsmonden Dry White 2015, which has the nice touch of also being English, like the crickets. My other choice would be the La Raia Gavi 2015. Gavi is from Piemonte, northwest Italy, and is noted for floral and peach notes.
I’ll post a full list of the wines from the evening soon.