In 20 years, insect consumption in Western culture will have increased substantially, primarily among 20-35 year olds who have grown up with entomophagy. Many different varieties of bugs, both raw and processed, will be available to consumers in traditional retail channels.
This project was realized during the Objects for Food module, as part of my master’s in Food Design and Innovation at the Scuola Politecnica de Design in Milan.
It was developed by a multidisciplinary team of designers and chefs composed by Magdalena Weiss, Ketija Greta Sauble, Bianca Pischedda, Daniel Finta and María Fuentenebro.
Our goal was to create a series of tools that would transform insects from their natural state into seasoning components. We wanted to elevate and celebrate their inherent value by making the process of insect consumption not only more convenient for consumers but also fun and dynamic.
“Population growth is expected to reach 9.7 billion people by 2050 and according to the FAO we will have to increase our food production by 70% in the next 50 years.”
Each tool easily provides the user with a quick, efficient way to utilize insects in their everyday lives. Humans tend to gravitate towards convenience, and are more likely to utilize insects if they are easy to prepare and use.
These new consumption rituals draw inspiration from existing devices, but are adapted to fit the needs of the future consumer. These tools create new, innovative ways to season food, and easily add ingredients to the cooking process. A versatile collection that would grow to adapt to the variety of the insect world.
We decided to focus on particular insects, creating specific tools that would take out the most of each of them. After different tastings, we selected three insects that had a distinct flavor profile and interesting textural qualities.
Ento Mill grinds ants to a coarse powder, in this case lemon ants, to give dishes a citrusy finish touch. Ento sieve grates worms into a paste that can be used in filligns, sauces and spreads. Finally, the Ento Press allows to squeeze the interior of large bugs to boost the flavor of both savory and sweet dishes.
RECIPES FOR ENTOMOPHAGY
In order to test the tools, we came up with three different insect-based recipes in which they would be processed and incorporated in various ways. After trying each bug, cooking it and experimenting with it, we ware able to define a flavor profile to play around with.
Ento Mill gives the final touch to the pavlova, where lemon ants are grinned to add a burst of citrus flavor, contrasting with the chewy, crunchy texture of the vanilla pavlova.
Ento Sieve purées the soft worms into a paste for the filling of this browned butter and sage pumpkin ravioli. Mealworms provide a nutty, warming sensation to the sweet pumpkin dough.
Ento Press allows to squeeze the soft interior out of the hard shell of large insects. Giant water bugs have this distinct licorice flavor, and we used them to reimagine Massimiliano Alajmo’s signature dish of saffron risotto with licorice powder.