Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh baker uses insects as cake ingredients

Cakes Image copyright Patisserie Maxime
Image caption Insects have been sprinkled onto some of the cakes for customers who want to see them

An Edinburgh baker has been attempting to take the "yuck factor" out of eating insects by grinding them up into flour before making them into cakes.

Cyril Barthelme, 26, of Patisserie Maxime on Queensferry Street, has been making sponges from scorpion flour, brownies with ground up crickets and mealworms and tarantula cakes.

Mr Barthelme said he wanted to raise awareness of alternatives to meat.

He believes incorporating bugs into cakes could help change attitudes.

Mr Barthelme told the BBC Scotland news website that by disguising the insects into more edible creations he would encourage more people to try a nutritious alternative to meat.

He said: "I've been reading and watching documentaries about how meat supplies and quality are falling all over the world and that eating insects might be a way forward.

"For example the volume of water needed to feed animals is far higher than for insects.

"However, there is still the perception in the western world that eating insects is not very appealing so I thought if I ground them up into flour first before making cakes then they could be perceived as nice to eat.

"It has been challenging to turn the flour into cakes as the flour is much finer than wheat flour but by blending the two I have managed to create many different types of cakes.

"It is a matter of education. In the west we are brought up to see insects as disgusting but that's not true. Insects are very nutritious."

He said insects contain more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach and more protein than beef.

He added that insect flour was 100 times more expensive than plain flour so he was not making profit from the insect cakes.

He has also sprinkled insects onto some of the cakes for customers who want to see what they are eating.

Louise Gray, author of The Ethical Carnivore, told the BBC Scotland news website: "I don't think we will ever get over the yuck factor of eating insects so this is a great idea to disguise them in cakes.

"It is a really good way of getting protein into a snack in a delicious way.

"Eating insects has a low impact on the environment so any way of taking advantage of this resource has to be welcomed."

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