Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I ate cricket! (In chip form, mind you)

We had a treat for lunch today: my cricket chips, which I pre-ordered way back in mid-winter, arrived this morning. Amusingly called Chirps, these chips come in three flavours and are the creation of a new company called Six Foods.

As you can see in the picture, the chips came with a nice canvas tote bag. I quite like the slogan on it: "Bug Appétit." I'll definitely be carrying that around in public! Also included was a sweet handwritten letter, thanking us "Bug Lovers" for supporting the company, and also providing some interesting information on their process from dream to product:

We've worked with a food pilot plant for eight months to create the recipe & it has been a huge learning experience for us. We've experimented with 50 different recipes, obscure ingredients (teff anyone?), and called over 400 manufacturers till we found the right partners.

Thank you for being patient with us through this process. As a token of our love + appreciation, there's an extra Six Foods tote for you.

Bug Appétit!
Laura, Meryl, + Rose

Wow, Laura, Meryl and Rose, you are some hard-working entrepreneurs! Good for you.

The Chirps packaging advertises that Chirps contain "3X more protein than regular potato chips," but really, they should be compared not to potato chips but to tortilla-bean chips. So I'm doing that. According to, Kettle Tortilla Black Bean chips contain 3g of protein, 18g of carbohydrates and 7g of fat. Beanitos are another chip worth comparing with, as they also contain beans, although not corn. According to the Beanitos web site, Black Bean Beanitos have 4g of protein, 15g of carbohydrate and 7g of fat. Chirps chips contain 6g of protein, 12g of carbohydrates and 6g of fat. So yes, Chirps win, in terms of having the most protein. They also have less fat and a better carb to protein ratio.

At this point you may be thinking, "Never mind all that, how do they taste?"

When I ordered Chirps, I opted for the variety pack so that we could try all three flavours: natural, cheddar and BBQ. So we had to decide which one to open first. I thought the natural bag first would be a good choice, as it would allow us to better appreciate the unadulterated flavour of cricket. So we did that, and... they're quite tasty. Better than original Beanitos, I would say. They have little black dots in them, but those are the chia seeds, not the crickets. No visible bits of cricket can be detected in this product, so if you're squeamish about that, you can set your mind at ease. They look and taste somewhat like tortilla bean chips, but with a slight difference, and I'm not sure how much of that is the chia seeds and how much is the cricket. Also, they are stiffer and crunchier than the typical tortilla chip. In terms of hardness, they remind me of Mary's Crackers.

So I can recommend Chirps by Six Foods as a gentle introduction to the world of bug-eating for anyone who would like to take the plunge but is not ready to stuff a whole cricket or mealworm in their mouth, a la Millennium Farms. That's quite advanced for us weeny Westerners, and I'm happy to leave that for later.

Ingredients in Chirps, Natural Flavour

  • Navy Beans
  • Sunflower/ Safflower Oil
  • Corn Flour
  • Chia Seeds
  • Pea Flour
  • Cricket Flour (Gryllodes Sigillatus and/or Acheta Domesticus)
  • Salt

Allergy Alert

The Chirps packaging advises that "If you have crustacean shellfish allergies, you may also be sensitive to crickets."

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