October 25, 2013 / 6:16 PM / 5 years ago

Beetles and scorpions creep on to Paris food scene

An aperitif dish with beetles, salted and sealed in packages imported from Thailand, is seen at the restaurant 'Le Festin Nu' in Paris October 23, 2013. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - Popular delicacies in Asia but spurned by most in the West, grasshoppers, beetles and waterscorpions have crept on to the menu of a Parisian restaurant for the first time.

In the heart of the French capital, better known for its butter croissants and haute cuisine, Le Festin Nu, or Naked Feast, has just added to its menu dishes as remote as possible from the classics, with crunchy insects imported from Thailand.

More than 1,900 species of insect are eaten around the world, mainly in Africa and Asia, but people in the West generally turn their noses up at the likes of grasshoppers, termites and other crunchy fare.

Still, young French chef Elie Daviron has created a buzz on the Paris food scene with his grasshoppers on quail eggs, water scorpions on chicory or beetles with potatoes.

“I try to create a work of art around the insect,” Daviron told Le Monde newspaper. “For me this is a kind of still life.”

Reporting by Charles Platiau; writing by Ingrid Melander; editing by Tom Pfeiffer

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