Insect food lab

Serving live ants at Claridge’s for £195 a head is no mean feat.

The foodie trends of tomorrow are developed in a small houseboat lab opposite Noma.

If you have never eaten insects, ants would be a good dish to start with.

In 2012, Noma introduced insect fine dining to London by serving live ants

with crème fraîche as the pièce de résistance in a £195-a-head, eight-course meal.

The carpenter ant species served at the Noma pop-up at Claridge’s has a distinctive lemongrass flavour.

But you could also try leaf-cutter ants, which taste like crispy bacon,

or honey-pot ants eaten as a sweet delicacy by aboriginal people in the Australian Outback.

Like many of Noma’s avant-garde dishes, the ants dish served at Claridge’s is a product of Nordic Food Lab, Insect food lab

an experimental kitchen situated in an unassuming houseboat in Copenhagen harbour opposite the world-famous Michelin twostarred restaurant.

Founded in 2008 by Noma chef patron René Redzepi and gastronomic entrepreneur Claus Meyer, Insect food lab

Nordic Food Lab was established to explore the building blocks of Nordic cuisine by investigating old and new raw materials and techniques.

Tasked with creating new, cool food, the lab, headed up by head of culinary research and development, Ben Reade, focuses on the science of cooking.

This delicious objective is pursued by a team of chemists, biologists,

anthropologists and sensory scientists conducting weird and wonderful experiments in fermentation, curing and other food microbiology processes.

More protein, less fat But the NFL team’s most promising area of research is ‘insect gastronomy’.

Insects are the food of the future. Already part of the daily diet in many non-western countries, bugs, the scientists believe,

will be eaten by more and more people as the world’s population grows and agricultural land becomes scarce.

Redzepi himself has often said that meat will become too expensive. Furthermore,

insects have a higher protein and lower fat content per kilogram compared to animal meat.

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