Photo Note: Photos for this post were provided by Walter B. Jacobs Memorial Nature Park.
As Halloween approaches, there are more and more fun activities being added to local calendars. One relatively new Halloween event that is building a growing fan base is “Bugs, Bats and Bones” at Walter B. Jacobs Memorial Nature Park in Shreveport. The 2015 “Bugs, Bats and Bones” will be held, 4-8 p.m., on Saturday, October 24 (RSVP to the Facebook event here). This free event includes activities ranging from pumpkin carving and spooky storytelling to night hikes and insect hunts.
One element of the evening that stands out as singularly bizarre is Café Insecta, where kids and their parents can enjoy a different kind of Halloween treat. As the event’s press information puts it, Café Insecta “serves up delicious dishes that just happen to include bugs as an ingredient.” In past years, Café Insecta snacks have included mealworm popcorn balls, waxworm dirty rice, mealworm rice krispie treats, white chocolate-macadamia nut-waxworm cookies, and hand-dipped, chocolate-covered wax worms. Who’d be crazy enough to eat the bugs served up at Café Insecta? At last year’s event, 129 people ate the insect-infused snacks. Everyone who eats a bug receives a sticker that reads (you guessed it): “I ate a bug.”
Full disclosure: I’ve eaten a few chocolate-covered crickets. They taste exactly like a Nestle Crunch bar.
“I kind of stole the idea from the Insectarium in New Orleans,” said Rusty Scarborough, senior park naturalist at Walter B. Jacobs Memorial Nature Park. Scarborough is excited to see the “Bugs, Bats and Bones” night growing in popularity. “We had a record number of people attend the event last year, with more than 600 folks attending.”
If you’d like to do the night hikes, storytelling, and educational programs, but would rather not eat bugs for dinner, have no fear – Good to Geaux Foods, the food truck operated by the Geauxsicles folks, will be on-site selling food. But what if you develop a taste for bugs at this event? There’s no need to wait until Halloween 2016 to chow down on your favorite bug.
“Believe it or not, there are mass-produced cookbooks about cooking with insects,” Scarborough said.