If this wasn't a travel blog, it would probably be a food blog. I love visiting restaurants, reviewing food and sharing my experience with others. I'm also very picky about food, so I won't say that good food is bad, or bad food is good.
That being said, I love to try new food. I don't always like it, but I love growing my culinary palate. While travelling the world I've had some strange food encounters, like raw horse (yum), ox tongue (yum), boiled eggplant (yum, unless you mistook it as a chocolate cupcake, in which case not yum) and, the one I am most known for, dogduck (very yum).
But, throughout all my travels, the one thing I've always wanted to try was bugs. By bugs I don't mean raw earthworms pulled from my parent's garden. Those are gross and have chunky dirt inside them and they don't taste very good. Instead, I mean prepared bugs. Bugs that have been fried or baked or turned into paste and put onto crackers. Think "Grasshopper and Strawberry Jam" bugs; that kind of thing.
Unfortunately, bugs aren't a common staple in North American diet. If you ask for a dish and there's a bug in it, you take it back to the kitchen.
But, what if the bug is supposed to be there?
That's what happened on my recent trip to Lethbridge's Whoop-Up Days. I was hungry, so I decide to check out some of the food trucks and I came across a truck for MeltTownGrilledCheese.com. Their main dishes were grilled cheese sandwiches and poutine. However, they decided to mix things up a bit and add a scoop of crickets to the dish.
Yes, real crickets! Like the kind you buy at the pet store!
The cricket grilled cheese sandwich was $2 more than the regular sandwich, but apparently, they were all sold out of bread when I visited. This should have been enough to deter me, but instead I inquired about the cricket poutine. It was also $2 more, so I bought it.
And everybody around me gagged.
When the poutine arrived, it looked like a normal poutine with a scoop full of brown crickets on top. You could see their arms and legs, heads, eyes and shell. I twirled my fork into the dish, picked a fry with some extra cheese and a single cricket on it and ate it.
I didn't taste anything.
I tried a few more crickets.
I tasted them this time, but they didn't taste like much. They were a bit crispy, kind of like the tips of an over-cooked French fry, and they had a little crunch to them like a small nut or some Bacon Bits. As for a direct taste, I'm not sure if the cheese and gravy masked it, but I didn't taste anything.
The only part I didn't like about crickets was their legs. Their back legs are long and tough and occasionally got caught I my teeth. For me, it was like having a small, hard piece of grass in my teeth and I had to pick it out afterwards. I felt it was no different than eating chicken wings, except they are bug legs.
But, the biggest question you're probably asking is why I ate a cricket poutine.
Well, crickets, and insects in general, are an excellent substitute for red and white meat. Per pound, crickets have three times as much protein than beef, more iron than spinach and more calcium than milk. They have all nine essential amino acids, have a perfect Omega 3:6 ratio and are high in fibre. They also have 20 times the amount of B12 than beef.
Besides being very healthy, they are also a more environmental alternative than meat. They need less food and water to grow, they take up much less space and they can be grown everywhere. Unlike chickens or cows that take up a lot of space, you could grow and raise you own crickets in your house and add them to your food. A lot of experts believe that if we switch eating meat to eating insects, we can open a lot more land for farming, reforesting and wildlife, which improves hunger, the environment and the animal kingdom.
With all that in mind, would I eat another cricket poutine? Yes, definitely. I would put crickets on my salad too. Maybe have some chocolate covered crickets. I could snack on crickets instead of cashews at Christmas and try crickets and carrot in my soup. I would love to try ants, maggots and worms too, if I could get my hands on them.
But, that's just me. What about you? Would you try a cricket poutine?
Don't forget to pin it!
And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
Get Your Complete List of What to See & Do in Regina!
When it comes to Saskatchewan, your next adventure can be around any corner. As you venture off the main highways, signage is scarce and directions such as "if you've passed the gate with the buffalo skulls, you've gone too far" are all too common. Communities grow smaller, people grow warmer and the list of things on your Saskatchewan Bucket List seems to only get longer.
My adventure to Leader started a few months ago when Christine over at Cruisin' Christine shared a list of Leader bus tours on Facebook. Some of the tours were in June, but one was in September. The September tour caught my eye because it was a two-day tour and I had to ask myself what we would do for two days in Leader. Leader has a three digit population, so I was perplexed on what the tour would comprise.
I was so perplexed that I decided contacted Leader Tourism and booked the tour to find out.
I've known Jenn Smith Nelson for several years now, and I often look up to her for inspiration and guidance on how to grow with my blog. I remember hearing about her book over a year ago, and I've been holding my breath in anticipation ever since.
Smith Nelson teamed up with Doug O'Neill, another talented travel writer, to cover two Canadian provinces. Their new book, 110 Nature Hot Spots in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, is a part of a Firefly Books series that showcase Canada's diversity of nature.
Long before I started my blog, many, many years ago, I visited Innsbruck, Austria. I was on a Contiki trip through Europe and visited a plethora of locations such as Rome, Paris, Amsterdam, Venice, Lucerne and Innsbruck, just to name a few. It was an incredible experience and one that I think was a transformative moment in my life.
Off the record (or, on the record now, I guess), of all the places I visited, the only one I didn't like was Innsbruck. I couldn't get into it. We visited it in late March, so the weather wasn't the best. The trees didn't have any leaves on them, the grass was brown, and everything had a post-winter grey look to it. After visiting Munich and spending the night in St. Goar, my mind wasn't thinking about Innsbruck at all. Instead, I was more excited to go to Venice the next day, and the Vatican the day after that. My time in Innsbruck was uneventful, and all I wanted was to get back on the road.
That was in 2011, and now it's 2018. Has my opinion on Innsbruck changed? I would say yes. I'm more mature now and if I went back, I would better appreciate what I was seeing. As I've gotten older, I've been less impressed by the massive buildings and more enthralled by the history that created them.