Water beetles the size of a Post-It note are on the menu at Nue, a trendy restaurant on Capitol Hill. They’re full-bodied, winged, and you have to suck the meat from their abdomens.
Nearby at Poquitos, an upscale Mexican restaurant, are spicy chapulines, or grasshoppers, that taste vaguely of flour.
And down the hill, about once a year, The Carlile Room has snails on the menu. These are fancy snails, $76 for 8 ounces, and they are raised lovingly at a modest escargotiere on the Olympic Peninsula run by Ric Brewer.
“We’re eating bugs every day whether we know it or not — might as well do it purposefully,” Brewer said. “It’s growing but not quite a huge industry yet. It will be as traditional protein prices go up.”
Some Seattle chefs are experimenting with bugs – full of protein, low in fat, they say – at restaurants across Seattle. Some of these aren’t too surprising (grasshoppers), but others ask more of their diners, like the water beetle, which looks like a cockroach and tastes like an apple Jolly Rancher dipped in salt.