As soon as I entered this sprawling suburban home, I was handed a glass of red wine and a sautéed tomato hornworm. “Want one?” urged Kevin Bachhuber, the co-host for tonight’s dinner, with a view of twinkling Simi Valley below. The owner of the country’s first farm to raise crickets exclusively for human consumption, he was visiting from Ohio. The light green grub, which spent its life gorging on leaves of the tomato plant, looked exactly like the plump caterpillar from a children’s book. But tonight, the typically wiggly grub is quite literally grub, unmoving and shiny with olive oil.
I grabbed one, still sizzling, out of the pan, dropped it in my mouth and chewed.
“Not bad,” I thought as the worm’s chlorophyll-saturated body burst with a bite. If not for the texture, I could have been eating a bean sprout. Or maybe a fried green tomato. Some people even tasted a hint of soft-shell crab or shrimp.
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