Celiac.com 08/09/2018 - Whatever one might say about crawfish, shrimp and crustaceans in general, Americans don’t typically eat bugs. Can a former Ralph Lauren marketing executive turn the world on to flour made from crickets?
Over the last few years, Americans have been presented with a buffet of alternative proteins and meals. Robyn Shapiro’s company, Seek, has created all-purpose, gluten-free, and Paleo blended flours, which can be used cup for cup in any recipe calling for flour.
The book’s cast includes La Newyorkina chef Fany Gerson, a Mexico City native known for her cricket sundaes; noted Sioux chef and cookbook author Sean Sherman; and former Noma pastry chef Ghetto Gastro member, Malcolm Livingston, among others.
Other companies have sought to promote the benefits of insect protein, including Chapul, which makes cricket protein bars and powders, and Exo, which makes dairy- and gluten-free cricket protein bars in flavors like cocoa nut and banana bread. These companies, along with others in the business tend to aim their products at Paleo dieters by promising more protein and no dairy.
Seek’s chef-focused approach makes it unique. By pairing with noted chefs who already use bugs and bug protein in their cooking, Shapiro is looking to make the public more comfortable and confident in using bugs to cook and bake. So far, the response has been slow, but steady. Seek has already raised nearly $13,000 from 28 backers, well on its way toward its $25,000 goal.
Seek’s cricket flours and other products will initially only be available via Kickstarter. If that goes well, the products will be sold on Seek’s website. Early backers will get a discount and a chance for a signed copy of the book. Seek hopes to debut their products nationwide starting in the fall.
Could gluten-free cricket flour and the new cookbook be the next big gluten-free Christmas gift? Stay tuned for more on this and other gluten-free stories.