By Jareliz Diaz

Over a hundred UConn students reserved their seats at Rome common ballroom on March 14 and put their taste buds to the test at UConn’s first-ever Bug Feast.

Students were given a variety of meals that incorporated insects. The purpose of “A Bug Feast” was to raise awareness for alternative nutritional values.  The menu included: beef sliders made with weaver ants, rice with meal-worms and crêpes made with cricket flour.

Students also gained insight on how bugs have been used within meals throughout history.

Bug feast decorations March 12, 2019. (Photo: Jareliz Diaz)

UConn student Emilio Peruzzi said he would definitely attend the event again and thought the food options were delicious.

“My friends and I wanted to start eating right away. They had this green tea smoothie juice, and it has silkworms in it. I expected it to be really bitter, because in the past when I’ve eaten silkworms they’ve been super bitter, but it tastes really good. The beef sliders you could not go wrong with beef sliders. It’s a beef slider, and they ground up ants into it. Someone else being interviewed was like ‘it tastes like beef,’ and I’m like yeah because you’re eating beef,” Peruzzi said.

Many students were pleasantly surprised by the outcome of the foods and did not expect it to be as good as it was.

Cricket dish served by UConn dinning March 12, 2019. (Photo: Jareliz Diaz)

Associate Extension Professor Ana Legrand said she was happy to show students ways bugs can be used in meals and can also be beneficial.

“The students get to try out a very new thing. For some, maybe they have already eaten insects, and it was just a nice return to that, but for some, it might have been a brand new thing they can explore further,” Legrand said.

Students enjoying their meals March 12, 2019. (Photo: Jareliz Diaz)

UConn student Daniel Wood said he would have liked to see more insects within the meals but overall found it very good.

“I thought some stuff was a little counter-intuitive, because the whole point of eating bugs is to be more sustainable. I’m not sure why there was a beef product in there. It’s like one of the most unsustainable protein sources in the world, but I thought it was good. I thought it needed more bug, but Rob did a great job with its team. It was fantastic, everything was really well seasoned. My only complaint is bugs. I want more bugs.”