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Sunday, December 18, 2016

BUGBUG - Utensils For Eating Insects

Yesterday, you hopefully read about how insects are being hyped by the United Nations as the next culinary protein dish to hit the global dining table. I also wrote about my own exploits in eating delicious bee larvae and grasshopper in Japan over 20 years ago.

I’ve also eaten scorpion encased in a lollipop, had chocolate covered ants, and crickets in a lollipop… which makes me wonder who the real sucker is. In all instances, I couldn’t taste the the insect or what I figured it should taste like… or if I did, it didn’t taste like anything special.

So… when I said I ate bee larvae and grasshopper and called it delicious, it was because whatever the heck it was cooked in/with—that was what was delicious.

Anyhow… Kobayashi Wataru (surname first) has created BUGBUG… a set of cutlery designed specifically top help one eat insects.

Yes, I suppose you could just pick up a stewed grasshopper and toss it whole into your mouth—that’s what I did… eating them like potato chips—but maybe you are the type of person that doesn’t want to believe that they are eating a whole bug, and would prefer there was some way of making it look or feel more palatable.

I get it. I used to be like you once.

I used to be one of those people that believed that frog’s legs or alligator tasted “just like chicken”… but I am while enough to know that chicken tastes just like chicken, while frog’s legs tastes just like frog’s legs and alligator tastes just like alligator.

Anyhow, the BUGBUG starter set comes with five specific utensils to help you get a grip on just what you are eating. There’s:
  • one long-pair of pointy-ended chopsticks;
  • one short-pair of pointy-ended chopsticks;
  • a fork with tiny tines;
  • a spoon-like paddle;
  • pincers that fit over one’s thumb and middle finger (see image at the very top).
The real problem is afterwards when you have cockroach breath. You can't kill that bad breath. You think it's gone away, and then it comes back... and back... just kidding... I'm pretty sure there's no bad breath involved in eating cooked insects, except from whatever it is you are cooking the insects with.

While those pincers won’t quite provide a fix for anyone wishing they were Edward Scissorhands, they will allow the consumer to be able to pick up slippery bugs with an exact range of motion that will enable one to get their hands clear of any insect-cide. By that I mean killing of insects. Well… hopefully it’s already dead… so picking up cooked and prepared insects.  

Consumers can use the spoon to crush crunchy bugs into smaller bits, while the tiny tine fork could scoop up the smushed up meal(worm) and make sure any bits like a spindly bug leg easily make the journey into your maw.

The chopsticks… well… they have points on the end… so even if you don’t know how to use chopsticks, with your last breath, you can stab at them and then pop it into your cakehole, swallow and take the next breath.

You know that every breath you take is your last breath. Hopefully you have more.
Smushi mushi...
Each of the BUGBUG utensils is made of “sustainable” materials like brass and cherrywood… brass is made new from copper and zinc, but must be made from recycled brass in order to be considered sustainable. Cherrywood must come from cherry trees grown in a sustainably managed forest.

The BUGBUG utensils are housed within what Kobayashi calls “vegan leather”. I had to look that one up, too… but apparently vegan leather can be cork- or kelp-based… or can be made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyurethane and textile-polymer composite microfibers. Let’s assume it from a non-plastic base.

Apparently the BUGBUG isn’t available just yet… I have no idea if Kobayashi is in the process of marketing it, or if he's looking for financial backers...

By the way, BUGBUG is not in anyway related to Bugbug, a part of Bali, Indonesia.

Kobayashi is a Japanese designer who loves incorporating fun into his concepts. BUGBUG was his graduate work, and it was recently awarded first prize in a design cutlery competition by The Worshipful Company of Cutlers.

He now resides in the UK.

You can check out his website at The website is in English, and yes, it could use my help in making the English read better. Ya hear me Kobayashi-san? I'll help you out for free.  

Andrew Joseph
Thanks Julien for bugging me. 

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