There’s a food trend out there that has the potential to take off and has been gaining some steam lately. While it’s something that can be commonplace in other parts of the world, it’s just begun to make some progress in the United States. This food trend has been practiced in a number of different places (and historically so) but now chefs in America are looking at these food traditions to find something new for our palettes.

So what food trend is it? It might not be what you’re expecting: edible insects. Yes, you did read that correctly. The inclusion of insects into dishes and cocktails is something growing more and more popular.

Let’s face it: Humans have probably been eating bugs since the dawn of time. Their nutritional value is substantial. They have a tremendous amount of protein per serving and often compare better than many of our typical proteins like beef, chicken, and pork. Per serving, critters like crickets are often the healthier choice. And, they’re often more environmentally friendly.

It really shouldn’t be much of a surprise then that this food trend has been growing in popularity as of late. First off, there are the health benefits and the environmental benefits. Then, there has been the trend of experimenting with different kinds of foods and trying out wild combinations. Things like the nose-to-tail trend come to mind as something similar. People are willing to try out new, different, and sometimes gross things if they feel it’s ethical or if they just want to be a daredevil.

When it comes to restaurants in the United States, there have been several award-winning places recently. Xochi in Houston, Texas, was recently named as one of the finalists for the James Beard Award. They are a Oaxacan-inspired restaurant that have several bug dishes on the menu. Many of these high-end restaurants that serve insects have high online reviews — often times with four or five star ratings. So if you choose to have an insect dish, at least you’ll know that it is well prepared.

Edible insects are creeping into the food culture of the United States. As more people look into the benefits, and as more restaurants start to serve these dishes, it seems clear that it could take the next leap. It could become something that is normal. And whether or not you decide to try it, there are plenty of ways to try. Even if you don’t want to head out to a fancy restaurant, you could always try to prepare them at home. There are many online retailers who sell insects that are ready to be prepared for a meal.

In the end though, we’ll have to wait and see if this takes off or not. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll be able to order it from the drive-thru.

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