Insect foods are on a roll.

With 100 years in the business, Pasco has certainly made a name for itself as a leading maker of bread and other baked goods in Japan. So it’s a pretty big deal to see them gradually embrace the idea of edible insects in their own products. Last year they started selling kits of flour made with ground-up crickets, but now they are taking it one step further by making their own range of foods from the powdery remnants of insects.

However, instead of crickets, Pasco has selected silkworms as their bug of choice and teamed up with the specialists at Silkfood to get it done. As a result they created the Mayu No Tayori No Croissant and the Mayu No Tayori No Madeleine.

Most people would be relieved to see that these are just regular croissants and cakes, with no worms wiggling around inside. That’s because the silkworms have been ground down to a fine powder and blended into flour so we get all the flavor and nutritional benefits, without having to deal with the unpleasant visual aspect of the larvae.

That still might be a hard bun for some to swallow, so Pasco and Silkfood worked hard to make these treats as palatable as possible by blending lots of rich butter and lemon zest into the dough. However, rather than simply masking the earthy umami of silkworm, it is hoped these flavors accentuate it to help people acquire a taste for it.

▼ When we ate silk moth cocoons they also used lemon, so I guess it’s a natural pairing.

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Mayu No Tayori No Croissants are sold in sets of ten for 2,592 yen (US$22.64) and Mayu No Tayori No Madeleine come in boxes of six for the same price through Pasco’s online shop. The madeleine especially seem to be packaged in a set suitable to be given as a gift. However, if you do present it as a gift, be careful because insect food is said to have some similarities to crustaceans like shrimp and crab, so those with allergies to such seafood might be susceptible to adverse reactions.

That, and I’m also not sure society is at a level where gifting each other with bread made from caterpillars is universally acceptable, so you may just want to buy some for yourself for now. However, if major companies like Pasco keep working at perfecting recipes, sustainable ingredients like these might become mainstream before too long.

It’s worth trying anyway, because as far as eating insects goes, silkworms are rather tame. We should know too, because we’ve pretty much had them all at this point.

Source: Pasco, PR Times
Images: Pasco (Unless otherwise noted)
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