Have a Few Crickets With Your K├Âlsch

Oct 9, 2014

These things go together:

Ham and eggs, macaroni and cheese, and beer and bugs.

Beer and bugs? Definitely! Haven't you ever had a few crickets with your Kölsch?

Well, you will if you attend the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science's event, "Bugs and Beer—Why Crickets and Kölsch Might Be Matches Made in Heaven," set from 2 to 6  p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 1 in the RMI's Silverado Vineyards Sensory Theatre on Old Davis Road, UC Davis campus.

Crickets? It's what's for dinner. And more. 

UC Davis Professor Charles Bamforth, aka “The Pope of Foam,” will team with David George Gordon, aka "The Bug Chef," to create eight different insect-inspired creations for the ultimate tasting experience, says spokesperson and administrative assistant Elizabeth Luu. It was her idea--and a fine one at that!--to launch the event. 

The RMI "has been a hotspot for famous chefs, wine and beer pairings, and cutting-edge research for all things gastronomic," Luu says. "The Institute places itself in the forefront of the entomophagy—'bugs as food' movement by providing an informational but entertaining dining experience for the curious consumer."

Eighty percent of the world consumes insects as a protein source, Luu points out. "As the world's population continues to grow exponentially, there is more need than ever for an alternative protein source."

Indeed. We prefer our honey bees in hives or photographs but people in many parts of the world, including Africa and Asia, eat brood comb. They consider it a delicacy. 

Drone pupae, some beekeepers say in The Bee Source forum, are delicious, especially drizzled with a little honey. Bon appétit!

The UC Davis event will demonstrate various, innovative and creative uses for insects as a food source. You'll hear short lectures followed by tastings led by Bamforth and Gordon. Bamforth, by the way, is the distinguished Anheuser-Busch Endowed professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences at UC Davis, and Gordon is a celebrity chef and the award-winning author of The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook.

Tickets are $50 for the general public and $25 for students.  Here's what else is good about the event: A portion of the proceeds will go to the UC Davis Bohart Museum of Entomology to fund teaching and research. 

To register, visit the RMI website. For additional information, contact Elizabeth Luu at luu@caes.ucdavis.edu or at (530) 754-6349.

RMI was made possible through the generous donation of $25 million from Robert Mondavi in 2001. The institute, involved in research, education and outreach, is comprised of two departments: Viticulture and Enology and Food Science and Technology.