Like something straight out of the bizarre Bushtucker Trial on last night’s I’m A Celebrity, Northwich-based Roberts is the first major bakery brand in the UK to launch insect bread. And it tastes delicious.
And it was year 5 children at Hartford Manor Primary School who were amongst the first to try the limited-edition Crunchy Cricket Loaves during a very special school visit yesterday.
The batch has been whipped up in The Exploratory – Roberts’ concept kitchen and home of innovation – to celebrate the show being back on our screens for its 19th season.
The bread is made using cricket flour, which is supplied by Eat Grub – the UK’s leading insect food brand – and sourced from the world’s only farm with Grade A BRC food safety certification.
Each loaf contains around 336 crickets, which are dried, ground, mixed with wheat flour and grains and then baked to become a tremendously tasty loaf with a crunchy finish.
Roberts’ Crunchy Cricket Loaf contains more protein than standard bread and is also a much more environmentally-friendly and sustainable source of it.
Food experts claim insects can also actually blitz body fat due to being packed with good fatty acids, calcium, iron, vitamin B12 and vitamin C.
In fact, a recent study shows that crickets have antioxidant power five times higher than fresh orange juice. And they’re also low in fat.
They are also said to be good for the gut, to the high levels of chitinous fibre found in their exoskeleton. This helps to increase levels of a metabolic enzyme associated with gut health.
“As well as having very strong sustainability and environmental credentials, insects are also seriously tasty and shouldn’t be overlooked as a great recipe ingredient. Our Cricket Loaf provides consumers with a good source of protein and an easy way to familiarise themselves with insect-based food,” said Alison Ordonez, head of innovation for the bakery firm.
“As the UK’s next generation bakery we work tirelessly to stay at the forefront of food revolution. We’re also passionate about boosting growth in the bread category with relevant, sustainable and interesting bakes. The first-in-the-UK Roberts Cricket Loaf is yet another example of this.”
Neil Whippey, co-founder at Eat Grub, said: “We’ve been importing and selling insects as a food source since 2013, and we’re always excited to work with likeminded manufacturers who are keen to realise their insect-innovations. It’s been great to support Roberts in what appears to a UK bakery brand first. What a great way to introduce the joys and benefits of eating insects.”
Adele Wolstenhulme, Harley Street clinical nutritionist and psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) practitioner, said: “If you look through the lens of human evolution you will find insects were a daily staple. We are simply returning to our ancestral dietary roots.
“Given climate change and sustainability issues around meat, we are becoming more aware of the need to seek out alternative protein sources and we shouldn’t dismiss the valuable sources of essential fats that these critters also offer in abundance. And, when considering the amount of pressure on land and resources, we should be fully embracing insects as superfoods. We needn’t feel sorry for the celebs doing the Bushtucker trials in the jungle. They are getting way more nutrition than the average person!”
Insect eating, or entomophagy, is common in much of the world. The UN estimated last year that at least 2billion people eat insects – with many having eaten them traditionally for generations – and more than 1,900 species are used for food.
For many, they’re a delicacy and insect harvest season is much anticipated. They’re also a popular choice amongst those who want to protect the environment because farming insects uses less land, water and feed than conventional livestock farming.
Roberts’ first batch of Crunchy Cricket Loaf is limited to 100 loaves. Ten of these are up for grabs for lucky competition winners. To be in with a chance of getting your hands on one, visit Facebook @RobertsBakeryUK, before midday on Thursday 5th December, to enter the competition. The 10 lucky winners will be announced later that day. Good luck!
Celebrities who eat insects
- Actress, singer and producer Nicole Kidman revealed she has a penchant for eating live bugs. In a Vanity Fair video, Kidman reveals that her “hidden talent is eating micro-livestock.” To prove her point, she polished off a four-course meal consisting of live hornworms, live mealworms, crickets and fried grasshoppers.
- In 2017, actress, filmmaker and humanitarian Angelina Jolie created a media storm, whist promoting a film in Cambodia, by eating insects with her children. The actress was seen frying a scorpion and eating the leg of a spider which she said had a “really good flavour.”
- Actor and singer Zac Efron ate Scorpion on toast, Taiwanese cricket and worm cocktail on a US TV show to promote a new film.
- Salma Hayek revealed that she enjoys eating ants, worms and grasshoppers as part of a varied diet. The Mexican actress and producer described the delicacies as part of her heritage said she has eaten insects since she was child.
- For the release of his Man of the Woods album in January 2018, Justin Timberlake had the chef of the renowned Danish restaurant Noma prepare insects for his guests to eat. Ants coated with black garlic and rose oil and Danish pancakes with grasshoppers were on the menu.
- Actress, producer and activist Shailene Woodley calls insects the “future of food.”
- Katy Perry ended her tour in Bangkok by eating scorpions.
- Singer, actress and fashion designer Jessica Simpson ate insects to boost her metabolism.