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First-ever Brooklyn Bugs festival celebrates the art of eating insects

GREENPOINT, Brooklyn — New York City has already been a leader in cultural movements, so why not bug eating?

"They are rich in protein, lots of vitamins and minerals and antioxidants, plus they taste really good,"  David George Gordon, a bug chef, said at the first-ever Brooklyn Bugs festival.

Gordon wrote the definitive “Eat A Bug” cookbook 20 years ago, and finally after two decades, eating bugs is finally catching on, or so it seems, at this celebration of edible insects.

He showed reporter Magee Hickey how to eat a locust, holding onto the wings and then tossing them aside. He even encouraged all with a shout of "bug appetite!"

At the entomophatron, they start you off easy, with just a little honey with chocolate chips and wheat flour, all with bugs in them.

"We have a number of items where we meet people at their comfort level," Trina Chiassen, a bug tech entrepreneur, said. "Then we push them a little further toward the edge of their boundary."

Next stop was a tasty morsel of black ants from China on peanut butter and celery.

"You get some citrus in front and pepper in the back," James Ricci, another bug tech entrepreneur said. "Then there's the taste of farm acid from the ants, not far from acidic. The ants have a really interesting taste."

And then, for those healthier souls, there were yummy granola flakes with crickets mixed in and energy bites with coconut, cashew and cricket.

"Crickets have a really nutty, earthy flavor," Robyn Shapiro, co founder of Seek, said. And finally, grasshoppers, or chapulin in Spanish, plain or spicy, with grasshopper worm salt, were there for the tasting.

"I have a fear of bugs when I see them on the street," Joann Canosa said. "Today was the first time I had a chapulin from this company and it was really good, tasty."