Bug Bites in Brussels at B34

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I’ve been to Brussels so many times that I was sure there was nothing new for me to experience there. And then I read the in-flight magazine on Brussels Airlines, and lo and behold, there was an article about the benefits of eating insects and a small blurb about a burger served at B34 that served a burger made of meal worm….

So I had to try it.

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I’ve eaten mussels in Brussels, my fair share (and yours) of Belgian and Liege waffles, as well as my weight in Belgian chocolates and beers. But I’d never eaten bugs in Brussels. Only scorpions in China. So it seemed I was due to try something new.

B34 was kind enough to treat me to a Bux Burger on my recent trip to Brussels. I felt a little bit like a guinea pig. (Figuratively. Not like the guinea pigs I ate in Peru.) I knew the restaurant staff were curious to see my reaction once I bit into the burger. I’m not sure if they expected me to hesitate, cringe, gag, or smile with delight.

I cut the burger in half, took a bite, and… smiled. It was delicious!

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Determined to describe the taste for you, I tried to decide what it reminded me of. It was more crumbly than a regular beef burger, which makes sense since it has almost no fat to bind it. It tasted a little grainy; the texture of falafel came to mind.

The taste was very nice. If I hadn’t known I was eating a bug burger, I might have thought it more like a veggie burger. Doused with a bit of their homemade sauce, mayo, lettuce, tomato and cucumber, it was a tasty meal and one I would definitely order again.

Some foods I try are simply for the novelty, or because they are local specialties. Not so with the Bux Burger. Eating insects in Belgium is a relatively new undertaking. The movement is monitored by the Belgian food control agency that has agreed to 10 insects that can be used for human consumption.

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The Bux Burger is a blend of ground buffalo worms and insects mixed with high-quality soja. This high-protein, low-fat, environmentally-sustainable meal may currently be more a lifestyle statement than flavor choice, but I think that could change. The flavor, as I said, is delicious. And it was nice to finish a burger and fries without feeling like I’d stuffed myself to the gills.

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I must mention the fries, too. I didn’t think that would happen, but these fries were so different than other restaurant fries I’ve had. They were almost like little puffs of potato-ey air. They were carved almost with a hollow and tasted a little like a tempura fry. Very unique, and again, very light. This burger & fries meal was delightfully light.

Two billion people around the world regularly consume insects. It’s a part of their culture. What’s stopping the rest of us from enjoying these omega-3 and -6 fatty acid, antioxidant-laden, B12-rich sources of protein? Nothing but our own preconceptions of insects as creepy-crawly bugs that we swat away when we see them. What they really are is an excellent food source that requires minimal water, food and greenhouse effects to cultivate. You just have to know how to cook them.

Luckily, places like B34 do. They’re masters at cooking all kinds of proteins. Try their steaks and burgers, by all means, but don’t skip the Bux Burger if you want a low-calorie, high-protein, culinary adventure.

Think you’d like the Bux Burger?

 

11 responses to “Bug Bites in Brussels at B34

  1. I applaud your openmindedness! I could probably be talked into this… but it’s not top of my priority list, lol.
    I definitely appreciate your discussion of the health and environmental benefits, though. Good food for thought. (Pun intended.)

    • Thanks, Kristan! It wasn’t something that would have even hit my radar if I hadn’t read that article on the plane ride there. But now that I am more educated on the health and environmental benefits, I will be a lot more interested in looking for insect options in my future travels.

  2. I’ve had Chapulines (grasshoppers) in Mexico on pizza. The flavor wasn’t bad but the legs were too crunchy to get around. I could see grinding up worms would avoid that extra crunch. I doesn’t sound bad but I don’t know that I would run to grab one either. The real question is – is it vegan?

  3. Hmm…not sure but I would definitely try it! Like you, I try some things just for the pure novelty of it. However I couldn’t bring myself to cuy in Peru only because I couldn’t get household pet out of my mind! The consistency is interesting. Makes sense. I would definitely add this to my list and I haven’t been to Brussels yet so Belgian waffels and Bux Burgers it is!

    • Haha. Yes. Definitely don’t miss the waffles. Then, when you’re ready for something a little lighter and healthier, try the Bux burger.
      btw – I did try guinea pig in Peru. I put the thought of them as pets out of my mind and enjoyed it. Tasted a little like rabbit.

  4. I’ve had crickets in a nutritional bar and I’ve always said I would practically anything fried, but this burger is different. I would definitely give it a shot. Insects are a fantastic source of protein!

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