I've been obsessed with bugs and insects for a while now, so when we joined the Audubon Nature Institute, it had a lot to do with their Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, the largest free-standing American museum dedicated to insects.
I was especially curious about their famed Bug Appetit Buffet,
"A small buffet of edible insects awaits those with adventurous palates at Bug Appétit. Sample exciting treats like six-legged salsa and chocolate chirp cookies"
I have three cookbooks using insects in recipes and have made several of the dishes.
I think its a protein source that needs serious consideration. I have raised meal worms for human consumption as well as a treat for my poultry pals.
When we first got to the cafe, the "chef" gave his usual speech, gently introducing us to insect eating with chocolate chirp cookies, when he realized that we were insect-cuisine aficionados his demeanor changed and we excitedly discussed the various ways to prepare insects, what bugs we'd prepared and tried, different methods, etc.
Skye chimed in with her tale of eating a hissing Madagascar cockroach that almost made her mother hurl.
It was lovely to converse with someone who was as into the possibilities and potentials of
Entomophagy, the practice of eating insects, as I was.
In fact, he turned me onto the United Nation's, study and fascinating document, Edible insects; Future prospects for food and feed security, which is a free download or around $40.00 on Amazon.
By the time we finished up there the museum was about to close so we had to rush through the rest of the exhibits including the wonderful butterfly garden.
The beauty of being a "member" is that we could leave and come back another time to casually enjoy what we didn't have time to see this first visit.
Yes, there is a bit of "preaching to the choir" going on here, but seriously insects, while they can be devastatingly damaging and having been on the receiving end of termite infestations and have had aphids, cut-worms, slugs and all sorts of dastardly varmints attack my gardens, the potential of harnessing the positives of insects are mind-boggling and the Audubon does a good job of illustrating this.
Exhibits and attractions
Underground Gallery Giant animatronic insects and oversized exhibits give guests a bug's eye view of the insect world.
Louisiana Swamp Gallery The sights and sounds of the Louisiana wetlands are depicted with aquatic animals and special effects.
Termite Gallery Formosan termites can be seen eating through a wooden skyline of New Orleans.
Butterfly Garden A garden populated by hundreds of live butterflies with which guests can interact.
Metamorphosis Gallery A working husbandry lab where an insect's entire life cycle is depicted.
Hall of Fame Gallery Preserved examples of some of the world's biggest, fastest, and most impressive insects.
Awards Night A comic film with animated insect characters voiced by Jay Leno, Joan Rivers, and Brad Garrett. Awards Night takes visitors to a red carpet event for bugs; the experience is enhanced by special in-theater effects and animated seats.
Bug Appétit Guests can watch chefs incorporate bugs into their dishes and sample some of their exotic creations.
There exhibits are fun, short and to the point. Informative without becoming pedantic or boring.
A Little Creepy
Calming and beautiful, and a great opportunity for Skye to practice her photography while I sit back and try to relax.