Let's try...adventurous eating
Pembrokeshire is always a hive of activity, never more so when ecology, innovation and nature are on the menu.
We popped in to Grub Kitchen at Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm to find out just exactly what the outdoors tastes like!
The Adventurers: This writer and her enthusiastic partner, our photographer and her partner; all of us foodies, all of us, almost, fearless in the face of dinner!
The Challenge: To sample as many of the delights on offer as possible and learn how sustainably sourced protein (whether it wiggles, crawls, baas or moos) can change our eating habits for the better.
The Verdict: Chilli cheese pate with black ants, garlic grasshoppers topping a rich roasted red pepper and tomato soup, a bug baji on locally grown salad and National Trust heathland pulled beef.
Head chef Andy Holcroft joins us for lunch and takes us through each dish as we sample. Business has been going well since they opened at the end of last year, and because of their location just outside of St Davids nestled right in the heart of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the menu is changed daily depending on what Andy can source locally.
After 15 years as a chef in the area, Andy has picked up a wealth of contacts that can give him first dibs when they land lobster or crab off the coast, producers like Treginnis Farm where he sources fresh goat meat or his National Trust beef - a by product of sustainable land management in the Gwaun Valley.
The insects are slightly harder to come by, because of food standards law insects can’t currently be alive when they arrive in the kitchen, so Andy uses specialist producers from far and wide to source his alternative ingredients, and hopes soon to be able to cook with the live alternative. Because insects can offer a much more sustainable source of protein than conventional farming, restaurants and food producers are coming round to the idea that mealworms are mouthwateringly good.
Although Grub Kitchen has a menu full of bugs to try, there are always dishes that are without, to cater for everyone. It’s open for cakes and coffee, snacks or a full lunch and evening menu with ‘normal’ meat and vegetarian options.
The bug bajis, filled with mealworms, crickets, silkworm pupae and bamboo worms, are by far the most popular dish, they’re filling and delicately spiced and, well, just plain delicious!
The black ants are lemony and sharp, with a little kick to them whilst the grasshoppers are crunchy and satisfying with the rich soup. We all agree we’ll definitely be back for dinner.
Possibly the tastiest adventure we’ve ever been on! Grub Kitchen - Eat Insects, Feed The World.
Grub kitchen at Dr Beynons Bug Farm is open: Saturday 10.30am-4.30pm, 6-9pm. Sunday 10.30am-4.30pm
Entrance to The Bug Farm: Adults £6.50, children £4.50, Open every day except Wednesdays. Family discount available.
The bug farm has just been awarded zoo status, with tarantulas, praying mantis, scorpions, cockroaches and lots of other bugs to marvel at in the tropical zoo. Home to guided tours, bug handling sessions, arts & craft workshops, indoor bug barn play area and a souvenir shop on site.
If you’ve got an adventurous spirit but bugs not your thing, try out some of the other Let's try... challenges on offer in Pembrokeshire. Don't forget to tag us in your photos, on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.