When a hotel manager sees termites or ants inside a room, his immediate reaction is to call national exterminators to fix the problem. However, what will be his reaction when powdered termites and ants are used in the spicy sauce served at a restaurant?
Enrique Limardo is an executive chef from Venezuela and co-owner of new Latin American restaurant, Seven Reasons. Some of the ingredients in his menu were inspired by his life in Venezuela and his travels around the Amazon.
Katara is a spicy sauce from the Venezuelan jungle that is made from fermented big ants, roots and local spices. The sauce is sour, earthy and spicy and used to season traditional cassava bread. According to Limardo, some of his dishes contain termites that are crunchy with the unusual slightly sour flavour. He adds the termites to beef and chicken stock or grinds them with sea salt to be used as rare seasoning for protein and vegetables.
Limardo was inspired by the insects which many consider as pests because they represent his roots. He wants to pay tribute to his ancestor’s culture that is why he adds the unique component to add flavour to dishes.
Because of recent source issues from Venezuela, availability of termites and ant derivatives may fluctuate on the menu of Seven Reasons. The use of insects in the kitchen may be a passing trend but there is also a possibility for it to stay. Limardo has pointed out to the fact that humans have been eating bugs for several centuries.
In the United States, insects in the restaurant menu may be a new concept but it has a very big potential in several aspects. Insects can be a substitute for regular protein. There can be a future for the unique restaurant menu but people still needs to be convinced to try them.
For most restaurants, the presence of termites and ants in the kitchen requires the services of national exterminators to eliminate them. Termites may not be harmful to humans but they can easily damage a property. They can chew through wood undetected. Flying ants are not dangerous but they can be annoying. They can reproduce to cause an infestation.