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Enloe Eagle's Eye

The Student News Site of Enloe Magnet High School

Enloe Eagle's Eye

The Student News Site of Enloe Magnet High School

Enloe Eagle's Eye

BugFest 2023: Cafe Insecta Food Review


The Annual Raleigh event, BugFest, took place earlier this month at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Every year, BugFest features buggy crafts and fun critter activities for all ages. This year’s theme features Spiders, which you could learn more about in and around the museum. 

One of BugFest’s most anticipated exhibits is Café Insecta, where you can eat dishes that feature real bugs. You get to try all sorts of insects from mealworms to crickets, prepared by local restaurants. Although eating bugs might seem gross, you may have unwittingly eaten them yourself! It’s estimated that the average American eats about 2 pounds of insects a year, found in produce, rice, peanut butter, pasta, beer, and more. Eating insects (also known as entomophagy) is a global practice with tons of benefits. Cultivating insects takes less water than farming other types of livestock, and they’re packed with protein, fiber, and micronutrients. It’s not weird either! They’re considered a delicacy in China, Mexico, Thailand, and several other areas of the world. 


Cafe Insecta featured many local chefs and businesses this year as per usual. Food at Cafe Insecta is free, but it’s first come first served with limited supply. We didn’t get to try all of the dishes, but we still had a great experience. 

Levy’s Jerkstand’s Mealworm Curry Rice: 7/10

This year, Levy’s Jerkstand offered 3 dishes: a buggy mac and cheese, jerk worms, and curry worm rice. However, we were only able to try the curry worm rice, which got a solid 7/10 in our book. The curry rice surprisingly had lots of flavor, but the worms were very visible. The natural black color contrasts with the golden curry rice, which can be unsettling for some. Unfortunately, the worms also had the texture of undercooked rice which definitely brought down the rating a few points.  

Lumpy’s Ice Cream’s Buggy Pecan: 9/10

We had high hopes for this desert and Lumpy delivered. With his suave handlebar mustache, he handsomely scooped generous servings of his delectable ice cream for all to try. It had a wonderfully creamy base and the bugs had a crispness that was distinct to the crunch of the pecans. 

Rocky Top Catering’s Worm Cake Pop (Chocolate): 8/10

As the most popular booth of Cafe Insecta in 2018, we had high expectations of Rocky Top Catering this year. Fortunately, they did not disappoint! This year, Rocky Top Catering offered both chocolate and vanilla cake pops with worms inside. We were able to get both flavors, however, the chocolate was better in comparison. For one, the chocolate flavor effectively hid the worms as they were about the same color as the cake inside unlike its vanilla counterpart. Not only this, but the worms offered no flavor or texture so it was about the same as eating a regular cake pop, but with some added protein. The cake pop itself was sweet and soft, typical of cake pops, but a tad too sweet and a little soggy for our tastes resulting in a final rating of 8/10.

Rocky Top Catering’s Bugged Rice Crispy: 4/10

Rocky Top also offered a rice crispy with crickets mixed inside, but sadly, this dish was the disappointing younger brother to the cake pop. Similar to the cake pop, it was hard to differentiate crispy from bug due to the brown color of the rice crispy. We are still unsure whether the brown color indicated chocolate flavor. The taste was a little bland, but the main problem was the texture. The rice crispy we got was extremely stale and felt like eating cardboard.

Soulbachi’s Bugnana Pudding: 6/10

The texture of this banana-flavored bug pudding had a texture, unlike any classic SnackPack pudding. It was like a tub of cool whip mixed into a banana laffy taffy. Like any good Southern banana pudding, it had Nilla wafers and plenty of artificial flavoring. The bugs were very crisp and they seemed to be a substitute for nuts. Compared to some of the other options on here, this one was on the better side.

Mr. Puebla’s Tacos’ Kickin’ Critter Chicken Salad: 3/10

Mr. Puebla’s Tacos’ critter chicken salad was, in our opinion, not satisfactory at all. The chicken was dry and the crickets did nothing to remedy the texture. The sour white sauce was also displeasing, but that may be because the chicken salad wasn’t enjoyable in the first place. Being a chicken salad, there was no room to hide the bugs, resulting in a dish extremely unsettling in flavor, texture, and presentation (there were whole crickets).

Wye Hill Kitchen and Brewing’s Critter Pizza: 9/10

Don’t judge a book by its cover for Wye Hill Kitchen’s critter pizza! Besides the bug toppings, the sauce and cheese had a perfect combination of sour, savory, and even a little bit of spice. Although uncomfortable to look at, the taste was phenomenal enough that you wouldn’t be able to tell it had bugs blindfolded!

You can stay in the know about events related to BugFest on their official website here. Or you can stay updated by following the Museum of Natural Sciences on Instagram @naturalsciences.

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About the Contributors
Danica Cheaz
Danica Cheaz, Staff Writer
(She/her) Danica is a sophomore who is looking forward to her first year at the Eagle's Eye! After school, Envirothon and Threads for Hope keep her busy. She is always doing something with her hands whether it's pottery, baking, or crocheting.
Bryan Wu
Bryan Wu, Staff Writer
(He/him) Bryan's a sophomore staff writer for the Eagle's Eye. Although he loves writing for the Eagle's Eye, he also has a passion for video games. If he's not writing, he's probably playing games with his friends or eating at varying restaurants.
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