World-renowned chef Topi Kairenius has put together the first ever gourmet menu combining the taste of Coca-Cola with insects. Here’s everything you need to know about the “hottest food trend in Europe”, straight from Finland.
You may be checking the date, thinking this is a very delayed April Fools’, but we promise it’s not.
Topi Kairenius, a world-renowned chef from Finland, has created the first menu that embraces both Coca-Cola and entomophagy. That’s another word for ‘eating insects’. But while this isn’t something that may sound particularly appealing to everyone’s palate, around the world entomophagy is already a very big deal...
A global phenomenon
Many people around the world eat bugs on a regular basis, in countries including Colombia, Mexico and Brazil. Also, over in the US, the protein-filled critters are being enjoyed more than ever before, partly due to how healthy and sustainable a food source they are. Plus, fans say, because they are surprisingly delicious!
Entomophagy is already a fashionable food trend in Europe as well, but as Kairenius explains, it’s been missing a trick.
“Eating insects is the hottest food trend in Europe. However, I’ve never seen any recipes that use Coca-Cola to infuse the insect. It really is a perfect pairing – it balances the natural flavour of many insects, and also makes it a little bit more palatable for anyone trying this for the first time.”
So Kairenius, who’s been experimenting with entomophagy since 2012, has been developing a delicious four-course menu for Coca-Cola Finland combining insects and Coca-Cola.
And for anyone who’s still unsure about the idea of insects for dinner, some of the courses you’re about to see may change your mind.
Start by sharing: the Coca-Cola Crickets Nacho Platter
Everyone can share this perfect platter that combines the classic Mexican flavours of a pico de gallo salsa, the sweet taste of Coca-Cola – and, of course, crickets.
Kairenius is a big fan of the versatile cricket, an insect that he feels mixes perfectly with Coca-Cola.
“Crickets have a nutty, slightly raisin-like flavour, with a hint of seafood,’ he says. “My Coca-Cola Crickets Nacho Platter combines the caramel sweetness of Coca-Cola and the saltiness of nachos, with that special taste – all of it works really well.”
Healthy and hearty: Bees ‘n’ Cherry Cheese Salad
We’ll let Kairenius talk you through this healthy, hearty salad dish.
“I’ve used bee maggots as the main ingredient for my Bees ‘n’ Cheese Cherry Salad with halloumi, cherries, pine seeds, romaine lettuce and sorrel.
“This salad is a good example of a light but hearty flavour combination. It pairs well with Coca-Cola. Shades of cherry and vanilla, combined with the greasy and salty halloumi cheese, complement the corn flavour which is characteristic of honey-bee maggots.”
Asian inspiration: Spring Mealworm Rolls
The protein-packed mealworms are accompanied by a classic Asian hoisin sauce that’s complemented perfectly by the taste of Coca-Cola.
The super smoothie: Bugs ‘n’ Beet Coke
And if you have any room left for more, the menu ends with a flavour-packed Bugs ‘n’ Beet smoothie. This thick drink is full of goodness, with apples, bananas, beetroot, kiwi, oat yoghurt, Coca-Cola and good old locust flour. Delicious!
As Théa Natri, PAC Manager of Coca-Cola Finland, explains, Coca-Cola is no stranger to encouraging innovation in food and drink, and to celebrating different cultures and cuisines.
“Coca-Cola has always promoted new food trends and cultures’” she says. “Insects are an ethical, ecological and nutritious foodstuff, and we wanted to experiment to see how they could pair with our flavours. Chef Topi Kairenius’ knowledge has helped us to develop these first-ever gourmet recipes combining Coca-Cola and insects.”
So, if you ever get the chance, give entomophagy a go (especially if it’s mixed with Coca-Cola)!
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