Forget butter, how about crickets on your popcorn?
Chef Alvarez: 'We try to get people to try stuff that's outside of their comfort zone'
It may not be coming to a theatre near you, but F&B Walkerville in Windsor, Ont. is trying out a new popcorn topping – crickets.
Chef John Alvarez is experimenting with a new creation, Truffled Cricket Popcorn. It's popcorn topped with citrus powder, Japanese Seven Spice, fresh truffles from Italy and cricket protein powder from Entomo Farms in Toronto.
"I looked around my kitchen and I threw it together," Alvarez told CBC. "But knowing all the flavours would work really well."
Alvarez says his restaurant is the first in Windsor to hop onto the 'wow factor' of the delicacy.
"For F&B, we try to get people to try stuff that's outside of their comfort zone. So coming here, they're familiar flavours but just boost it up a little bit."
'A crazy flavour punch'
Even though there's no 'fuzzy leg popping out' in cricket powder, Alvarez worried customers would shy away from his concoction. He's been pleasantly surprised with the early reviews.
"It was my first time trying cricket," said Philippe Octavien, owner of Black Magic Culinary Creations. "Very interesting. I loved the umami flavour, nutty, the truffle, the salt, a little bit of heat to it, it was amazing."
Food blogger Rosemary Woods also tried cricket powder for the first time.
"It was very good. It was a crazy flavour punch to my mouth, but I mean that in a good way," she said.
Still, Alvarez doesn't expect cricket protein powder to become a staple on kitchen tables anytime soon.
"I think you would have to get around the stigma of just eating bugs, but having the crickets in powdered form is actually kind of nice because you don't think of it. To me, it's just another seasoning I can try to utilize," he said.
A bowl of Truffled Cricket Popcorn sells for $11. Alvarez expects to sell it until the end of May, or until he finishes the bag.