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The French Cycling Bicycle Gourmet - French Country Travel Life Film Maker and Author. Your non-snobby Gourmet Guide to food, wine travel and Lifestyle Adventure!

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French Country Travel Life Food Find



DA BG  is happy to hip you to his latest French Country Travel Life Food Find. Yet another unique innovation from those fab frogs. They DO have a way with cuisine. As you well know.

But what on earth could be new ,unique and exciting? After all, haven’t the French done it all when comes to styles of groovy grub? We’ve had the classic stuff, based on wine, and cream and butter (think Paul Bocuse), the diet conscious “cuisine minceur” (tiny portions and everything garnished with kiwi fruit) plus  (gasp) yes, even “Tex-Mex” influences.

But now a young French chef  has taken his inspiration from the not so mysterious East (how mysterious can you be when you make all of Apple’s products?) This food innovator Elie Daviron is introducing totally organic and natural food ingredients, to the French palate that have formed the diet of a large part of the non-Western World for Centuries. (Can’t get much more innovative than that, can ya?) And he’s cleverly named his resto:”The Naked Lunch.” Why?

Our food detectives at enca.com present the evidence:

At a tiny bar in Paris’s Montmartre district, chef Elie Daviron is happy to admit his new menu has disgusted some clients while others need two or three drinks before they can face it.

Amid the guacamole, chicken tikka and chili hotdogs, the young chef is conducting a “gastronomical experiment” with what he calls a selection of “insect tapas”.


Grasshoppers, beetles, scorpions and two different types of worm — sango and silk — are the latest additions to his fare.

“My personal favourite is the sango worm,” Daviron said from behind the bar of the Festin Nu or Naked Lunch, a watering hole in this picturesque northern slope of the Montmartre hill.

The grasshopper will be more like hazelnuts and the giant water scorpions will be closer to dried fish

“There are two textures… you have the head and the body which are a completely different taste and flavour,” he said. The body was “sandy” tasting while the head was “crunchy” and tasted a bit like a combination of beetroot and mushrooms, he added.

The 26-year-old from Montpellier in southern France became interested several years ago in the idea of how insects could in future be a common source of protein in Europe. And after the release of a UN report on edible insects earlier this year, he “realised that people were waiting for someone to do that”.

Daviron ordered a selection from a company licensed to import dried insects and set about experimenting with recipes. The result was five dishes including scorpion with pepper cooked in olive oil, beetle with cucumber, ginger pickle and green peas and grasshopper with egg.

The protein-rich insects are imported from Thailand where they are widely eaten as snacks. But due to limited demand in France the few licensed suppliers deal only in dried insects rather than frozen or fresh.

‘Disgust turns to satisfaction’

“They are dried and salted and the taste will be a bit related to that,” he said, adding that because they are dried they do not need cooking and so retain the appearance of the insect. “It will be fermented taste, mushroom taste, dried fruit taste, dried meat taste, dried fish taste, a lot of things around that,” he said.

“The grasshopper will be more like hazelnuts and the giant water scorpions will be closer to dried fish,” he added.

Student Laura Dandelot, 21, said she had to overcome her prejudices in order to try the scorpion.

“At first, I did think it was disgusting and impossible to eat because it was strange and dirty,” she said. In fact, the scorpion tasted pleasant enough, she said, describing it as a bit “like nuts”, although she did not like the texture. “It was very hard to eat… crispy and hard,” she added.

Adele Gaudre, also a 21-year-old student, said she liked the grasshopper.

“It was as if you were chewing on dried tea, it was really dry but very nice,” she said.

The “insect tapas” are priced at between five and nine euros (seven and 12 dollars) per serving, and on a busy night the bar dishes up about 50 such plates.

Daviron said in the two weeks since he put the insects on the menu he had witnessed a range of reactions from customers.

“Some (people) are curious, some are disgusted, some are enthusiastic, some just don’t want to hear about that,” he said.

“Some get into the game or maybe they wait (until) after one or two or three drinks to get started.”

What the West is missing out on


According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation 2013 report, insects although not eaten in Western nations form part of the diet of around two billion people worldwide, mainly in Asia and Africa. And Daviron said he was confident that in the long term other countries would overcome their reservations too.

Read More HERE.


What are ya thinkin’?



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23 Responses to “French Country Travel Life Food Find”

  1. ellie brenner says:

    not the usual french gourmet food news….;but interesting/

  2. cal worthington says:

    when i want something crunchy……i’ll go for nuts instead of scorpions!

  3. fenton denman says:

    with ya there cal…only i get my crunchy from peanut butter!

  4. ian bennet says:

    fenton/cal…takes all kinds of crunchy to make a world…dunnit?

  5. valerie ranmis says:

    don’t think it will catch on in the USA;

  6. larry croman says:

    valerie..agree generally……but don’t count california out…
    they seem to love anything that’s strange and weird.

  7. spencer cassidy says:

    that’s a big “10-4” larry!….after all they elected arnie!

  8. veronique moreau says:

    i think there will be some french people who are willing to try something radical like this….but for the majority…..i think not.

  9. tad sample says:

    i love the last sentence (unintentional pun?) “other countries will
    overcome their reservations.”

  10. barbara billy says:

    tad..if i’m getting your drift….he’s hoping other countries will be coming over for reservations?

  11. tad sample says:

    no flies on you barb!

  12. carl benner says:

    c’est la vie!

  13. nadine watson says:

    always seems like the french are the innovatorzs in cuisines doesn’t it?

  14. laetia moreau says:

    well nadine…in all modesty…..we do have a long tradtion of imrotving our food….

  15. bob tomitz says:

    so true laetita…..starting with la varenne i believe?

  16. laetia moreau says:

    correct bob…..and contuing with careme…and, of course the great escoffier!

  17. gail reimer says:

    i’m thinkin’ that i, for one in the west is not crying about “missing out” on these “delicacies”

  18. norm flockhart says:

    so gail..we can put you doan as not an “adventerous eater?”

  19. gail reimer says:

    yes you can norm; With pleasure!

  20. jack melman says:

    amazing to know that tqwo billion people have insects in their diets; who knew?

  21. paul cavanek says:

    probably everyone in an Asian or African country jack…at least that would be my guess.

  22. vittoria grassi says:

    sounds like a good guess to me paul!

  23. daniel murph says:

    the french…once again in the pole position of modern cuisine!

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