Let's get together and munch on some ants, termites, and dung beetles. Or if we're feeling adventurous, we can have scorpion and cockroach for dessert. No? Well consider this: Even if it appears absurd, entomophagy is a historical and traditional way of preparing food for a lot of the world. Insect cuisine appears on the menu for two-thirds of the global population. Anyone interested in sampling this exotic food stands to get discounted or free admission this weekend to Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum. It's appropriately named Bug Fest.
Bug Fest is hosted by Daniella Martin -- the subject of a 2011 feature story in SF Weekly (where there's a really cool graphic that shows her eating what looks like a big black cockroach). Martin appears on Girl Meets Bug, the insect cooking/travel show. Saturday and Sunday, Martin offers an array of dishes, including larva tacos and deep-fried scorpion tail.
The bugs have been placed into two categories. Basic Bugs includes ants, spiders, termites, worms, caterpillars, grasshoppers, dung beetles, wasps, and crickets. Then there's Super Bugs -- cockroaches and scorpions. Daring to devour a super bug means free admission to Ripley's, while eating a basic bug means a discounted admission.
Among the facts to be learned at Bug Fest: entomophagy isn't just a delicious alternative to meat, but is environmentally friendly in comparison to some of its preferred rivals, such as beef.
Free food, free admission, the potential of adopting a bug diet -- sounds like an interesting weekend to us.
Bug Fest starts at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 17 (and again Sunday, March 18) at Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum, 175 Jefferson (at Taylor), S.F. Admission is free-$19.99.