Insetti commestibili: le tradizioni culinarie nel mondo e il futuro con Small Giants

Edible insects: culinary traditions around the world and the future with Small Giants

In a world where food trends come and go, one ancient practice has stood the test of time: eating insects. While the idea may initially evoke a sense of novelty or even discomfort in Western cultures, entomophagy – the practice of eating insects – is a long-standing tradition in many parts of the world, passed down from generation to generation as a custom local. 

With over 2.With 100 species of insects deemed suitable for consumption, entomophagy boasts a rich and diverse culinary panorama. From crickets to grubs, ants to grasshoppers, cultures around the world have embraced these tiny creatures as a valuable source of food and sustenance. 

Around the world, from bustling Asian markets to remote villages in Africa, insects have long been a valuable food source, celebrated for their nutritional benefits, unique flavors and cultural significance. In Thailand, for example, crickets, grasshoppers and mealworms are not only readily available, but also commonly enjoyed as snacks or incorporated into various dishes. Whether fried and seasoned with spices or stir-fried and served alongside rice, insects are an integral part of Thai cuisine, offering a crunchy texture and taste that locals have enjoyed for generations.

Similarly, in West Africa, particularly in countries like Ghana, the arrival of winged termites during the spring rains marks a culinary celebration. These winged insects are in fact collected in abundance and prepared in a multitude of ways: fried, roasted, as a protein addition in the preparation of flour. Rich in protein and other essential nutrients, termites provide a valuable source of nutrition for communities during the harvest season.

Meanwhile, in Mexico, roasted grasshoppers, known as “chapulines,” are a beloved culinary delicacy with a history dating back centuries. Seasoned with garlic, lime juice and salt, these crunchy creatures offer an explosion of flavor that has captivated the palates of locals and visitors from around the world. Whether a stand-alone snack or a topping for tacos and tortillas, chapulines represent a vibrant culinary tradition deeply rooted in Mexican culture.

In Colombia, the “Hormigas culonas”, or large ants…we get it, are a delicacy known for their rich flavor given by the formic acid, which gives them a characteristic and intense taste. These ants are often used to make spicy sauces, adding a unique twist to traditional dishes.

Also, in Japan, “Hachinoko”, or bee larvae, are cooked with soy sauce and sugar, then consumed as a savory snack . This delicacy offers a pleasant combination of sweet and savory flavors, demonstrating the culinary versatility and broad creativity to which insects lend themselves.

In addition to  these examples, the consumption of whole insects can be found in numerous other cultures around the world: from the jungles of the Amazon, to the plains of Australia. But what makes insects such an intriguing dietary option? The answer lies in their nutritional profile. Insects offer a sustainable and nutritious source of protein, vitamins and minerals, making them an ideal food choice not only for populations facing environmental challenges and food insecurity, but also for those who want to eat a more conscious diet and experiment with new flavors. Source of protein, omega fatty acids, fibre, B vitamins and Vitamin B3, insects offer a balanced and nutritious alternative to traditional protein animals.

Furthermore, beyond their nutritional value, insects offer a solution to the pressing threat of global climate change. With livestock production accounting for over 14.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions, reducing our dependence on traditional livestock is critical to mitigating the environmental damage. Edible insect farming, or mini livestock, is a sustainable, eco-friendly alternative that generates fewer greenhouse gas emissions, requires less space and water, and boasts conversion rates higher feed than conventional livestock.

As the insect-based food industry continues to evolve, new products are emerging to meet consumer demand.At Small Giants, a company dedicated to innovative culinary solutions that prioritize sustainability and nutritional completeness, we offer a range of insect-based products that celebrate the rich tradition of entomophagy while embracing the challenges of the future. From mealworms to cricket snacks, Small Giants is at the forefront of the shift towards edible insects, offering consumers delicious, sustainable alternatives to traditional protein sources. While our products offer a simple and tasty way to eat edible insects, at Small Giants we recognize that it is only a small part of a much larger landscape. The goal is not only to provide delicious and sustainable food options, but also to raise awareness about the cultural significance and nutritional benefits of eating insects.

We recently launched our latest product : Crazy Small  Giants – flavored whole insects. This new product is  more than just a product – it's a unique and flavorful way to incorporate whole insects into your diet. Whether enjoyed as snacks or used as an ingredient in your favorite recipes, Crazy Small Giants will allow you to explore the culinary potential of insects while promoting a more sustainable food system.


Join us  on this culinary journey and discover the delicious possibilities of eating whole insects. Let's embrace the diversity of cuisines around the world and celebrate the incredible flavors and traditions that insects bring to the table!


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