I first encountered Gourmet Grubb at the SAFFI conference earlier this year and my curiosity lead me to explore this a little more.
In fact, that is exactly what Goumet Grubb are trying to do - introducing the concept of insect protein to potentially reluctant consumers, in the form of a delicious and curious ice-cream product made from Entomilk, their proprietary insect milk process.
The value of insect protein over meat protein is huge. Insect protein has an advantage over meat protein in that it ...
- uses less water
- emits less greenhouse gas
- has a smaller eco footprint
- is better for the animals
- and is urban friendly in terms of space requirements
As populations increase world-wide, and threats to arable land make food scarcity a real concern now and into the future, it is an important exercise to explore protein alternatives.
But it is our Western reluctance to consider insects as a food source, that is possibly the biggest hurdle. And this is why the concept of this protein in the form of a delicious and irresistible ice-cream is so clever.
At the conference we were offered tea spoons and a range of different flavours to taste test. I recall one woman, her spoon poised in mid-air, staring at the ice-creams and the people tasting it and waiting for the reactions. I dipped my spoon into one bowl, tasted it and then she caught my eye. "What does it taste like?" she whispered. I pointed to the lid with the flavour and whispered back "Peanut butter". And that's the truth - if you didn't know the source of the ice-cream, you would be more concerned with the flavours of chocolate, chai and peanut butter, than with the concept of the insect protein.
When I got home, we bought some Gourmet Grubb from the producers here in Cape Town and it is now the dessert of choice at our frequent dinner parties. Take a listen to the short voice note for some comments from Paul and Trudi du Toit.
Go on - order your own and taste the future.
The podcast interview with Leah Bessa, gives much more insight into this process, and will answer that question that is tickling your brain - how exactly do they get Entomilk, the milk from insects.