Best Bug Cookbooks
#1 The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook by David George Gordon
Your definitive guide to modern kitchen buggery can be found in the The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook. If you’re only going to buy one edible insect cookbook, start with this one. You’ll learn 40 different recipes, preparing common edible insects like crickets and grasshoppers, but also more exotic varieties like ants, waterbugs, and spiders! Anyone these days can write and edible insect cookbook, but not just anyone can be a real bug chef … let alone The Bug Chef. David George Gordon is a grandfather to this industry; he was cooking bugs long before it became trendy.
Pros: beautiful photography, time tested and sophisticated recipes, clean and simple layout makes it a pleasure to flip through
Cons: some recipes feature many exotic species that are not yet widely available in Western nations
#2 The Insect Cookbook by Arnold Van Huis, et al
Not your mom’s edible insect cookbook. The Insect Cookbook was conceived of a perfect marriage between of European entomophagy experts and a master chef. If you want to learn both the how’s and why’s of fancy bug cooking, this book addresses both topics beautifly. With commentary from bigwigs like Kofi Annan, this book feels more serious than many of its counterparts. If you’re just going to buy just one edible insect book to learn concept and kitchen practice, I would get this one. You’ll be able to both cook an edible insect dinner party and gain a deeper background knowledge of the humanitarian backbone to entomophagy.
Pros: great recipes combined with truly thoughtful and well researched articles
Cons: some of the recipes are a bit more complicated – it may be abetter reference for special occasions than for simple mid-week meals
#3 Creepy Crawly Cuisine: The Gourmet Guide to Edible Insects by Julieta Ramos-Elorduy Ph.D.
Dr. Ramos-Elorduy has been beating the entomophagy drum in a serious way for decades. You are on my website right now, reading this review because of her work and the work of many other academics which have paved the way for this new food trend. Hailing from central Mexico, steeped in a tradition of chapulines, gusanos and escamoles, Dr. Ramos-Elorduy’s book is the real deal. This edible insect cookbook debuted about in the same year as The Bug Chef’s 1st addition of the Eat a Bug Cookbook. Really cant wait to try the Stinkbug Pate!
Pros: huge array of edible insect recipes from one of the world’s leading entomophagy experts
Cons: production quality of this book is dated – we could use an updated version of this edible insect cookbook too
Best Edible Bug Books
#1 Why Not Eat Insects? by Vincent Holt
Victorian entomophagy anyone? In 1885 the first appendectomy was performed, General Patton was born, and the world first learned about about the wild idea of entomophagy from Vincent Holt. Why not? The potential of edible insects was even obvious to this visionary back before the turn of the century! This book is awesome for anyone interested in entomophagy, but especially for bug and history nerds! Why Not Eat Insects? is well written and painfully insightful; while reading you will spend the whole time wondering it took over a century to fulfil theses prophetic ideas. If you’re intrigued by the idea of entomophagy and want a more indepth examination of core concepts – start with this book. If you ever lucky enough to stumble across an original copy of this publication, snatch it up and do not let it go!
Pros: this is a brilliantly written and extremely informative look at historical entomophagy
Cons: you will be disappointed if you want a more modern examination of how edible insects will integrate with 21st century issues and dietary fads
#2 Edible by Daniella Martin
Daniella Martin = modern-day Vincent Holt, Edible takes off where Why Not Eat Insects? leaves off. Daniella weaves a deep understanding modern dietary permutations, history, sustainability, and cultural entomophagy into a highly engaging journey thoigh the edible insect world of present and future. This book even features a few of Martin’s favorite simple and approachable edible insect recipes. The rearing guides for wax and meal worms are great, as are the general edible bug guidelines, though some of the sourcing info is now out of date as this industry has expanded. If you buy only one informative book about edible insects, start with Edible.
Pros: great well rounded introduction to entomophagy; this book has everything you need to go from concept to bugs on the table
Cons: the nature of a well rounded book is that many important entomophagy subjects could have used more depth; it your really psyched on bugs, you will eventually need more supplemental materials
#3 Man Eating Bugs by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio
So you’re going to throw your first edible insect dinner party – this IS your coffee table book. Beautiful photography of traditional entomophagy practices from around the world and quick anecdotal stories will keep the first awkward guest to arrive content flipping pages while you put the finishing touches on your waxworm canapes. What this book lacks in detailed information, it makes up for in truly inspiring photography. Man Eating Bugs will make an excellent read for any adventurous eater setting out on a global adventure.
Pros: great photos covering a huge range of traditional entomophagy practices
Cons: you will want more information than is provided here – the Food and Insects Newsletter archives is a great place for more information
Okay ento-buffs, so you’ve already read the 6 awesome books listed above, have you checked out these obscurities? With the wonders of self publishing, lots of folks have written edible insect ebooks. I have yet to buy or read any of these. Have you? Were they worth your 99 cents, $9.99, or time? Please let us know!