Swiss Edible Insects on the Menu

Will insect food products start appearing on Swiss plates in the near future?

Swiss retail outlets will be permitted to serve up and sell crickets, mealworms and locusts from 2016. Producers are already waiting in the wings. But there are still some issues to be resolved.

Hoping to take advantage of this change – the commercial sale of insects as foodstuff is currently banned – is Christian Bärtsch. We are in his office in a complex for social entrepreneurs and innovators, located under the arches of a rail viaduct in the trendy Zurich district Kreis 5.

There is nothing here to suggest that this could be from where the future of Swiss cuisine might emerge. But listening to this young man, you soon feel his passion for insects.

Bärtsch is one of the founders of Essento, a start-up company that wants to produce food made of insects. The young entrepreneurs are convinced that their “delicious products will be on the shelves in three to four years’ time”.

“We have developed a burger made of mealworm larvae which doesn’t taste like a vegetarian or vegan burger, and a spread, a mealworm pâté. Plus chips, ravioli, pasta, bread. There are a huge number of ways of using these valuable ingredients,” he says. Unfortunately, he hasn’t got any samples to taste.

 

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