May was a productive month for my Foodie Reads 2016 Challenge, I have carved out full afternoons to read this month - meaning, I ordered my family to leave me alone while I crawled under the covers and devoured pages and pages of books.
After making Cricket Chip Cookies for my Bizarre Foods SEM, I came across Edible: An Adventure into the World of Eating Insects and the Last Great Hope to Save the Planet by Daniella Martin.* Timely.
On the Page...
I have to admit: I didn't love this book. It was okay. The subject is even wildly compelling for me. So, it means something that I struggled to get through this. Well, I struggled through the first 100 pages or so. And, considering that the book itself is only about 130 pages, not including the voluminous introduction...well, you can do the math. I definitely didn't love this book.
She starts off as too much of a treatise and less of a narrative. For pages and pages she details the FCR (food conversion ratio) of cows to beef, pigs to pork, chicken, and - finally - insects. She discusses how Americans are already eating bugs because of the FDA regulations on allowing insects and insect parts into our foods. And she makes an argument for veganism being completely unnatural; I'll admit I did chuckle at that part. But her personal stories about eating insects didn't really start until about 100 pages in.
Those were the stories that I really enjoyed - her travels and experiences eating bugs from Palo Alto to Japan and through Thailand and Cambodia. The last 90 pages are a reference guide for edible insects as well as some recipes. Those were informative. I'll definitely be trying some of those recipes soon.
On the Plate...
When I was talking to the boys about their lunch requests on this holiday Monday, everyone wanted pizza. So, I decided to make some cricket dough, mixing flour and cricket flour, for the boys using Mark Bittman's "No Work Mostly Whole Wheat Pizza Dough." I made a cormeal dough for my gluten-free husband.
Ingredients makes two 10" pizzas
- 1-1/2 C warm water
- 1 T active dry yeast
- 3-1/2 C flour + 1 C for kneading and rolling later
- 1/2 C cricket flour
- 1/2 t dried epazote
- 2 T oil
- dried crickets
- tomato sauce
- shredded mozzarella
- prosciutto, sliced into thin strips
- pineapple, peeled and thinly sliced
- Bosc pears, thinly sliced
- crumbled gorgonzola
- balsamic vinegar, for drizzling after baking
ProcedureMix all of dough ingredients together in a large bowl. The texture will be a wet, sticky dough. Cover and let ferment for as long as you can - between six and twelve hours. At the end of that, use the dough as you would use any pizza dough.Knead in up to 1 C flour until the dough is elastic.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Divide the dough in half. Roll the dough out as thinly as you can onto two baking stones. Top with toppings (reserve the dried crickets for serving or they will burn) and bake for 18 to 20 minutes until the dough is crisped and golden. Slice and serve hot.
*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.
Here's what everyone else read in May 2016: here.