October 10, 2007 / 9:44 AM / in 10 years

Flutter, butter: Chef turns Aussie moths into food

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Moth stir-fry. Moth omelet. A Sydney chef is turning the insects invading the city and annoying its residents into a culinary ingredient.

<p>Australian bogong moths rest on a piece of material in Sydney in this October 28, 2003 file photograph. A Sydney chef is turning the insects invading the city and annoying its residents into a culinary ingredient. REUTERS/Will Burgess</p>

To most Sydneysiders, Bogong moths are an ugly inconvenience they have to put up with in spring.

But instead of batting them away, chef Jean-Paul Bruneteau advises residents to fry them in some butter.

“It’s food, it’s just food, it’s Aboriginal food,” says Bruneteau. Like most insects, the moths are a source of protein and they are also high in fat.

Scientist Martyn Robinson is also a moth enthusiast. He often eats them raw, but says they’re also tasty cooked in meals.

“I’d probably recommend only 10 a day, but 10 is plenty,” Robinson said, warning that the insects could be covered in pesticides.

Bogong moths have a wing span of up to 5 cm (2 inches) , and generally migrate en mass in spring and early summer to cooler areas, traveling up to 3,000 km (1,900 miles) to reach caves in the Australian Alps.

Often the moths are confused by city lights along the way, and end up infesting cities.

While some Sydneysiders balked at the idea of eating moths, others were willing to try anything to get rid of them. “I ate the head and it does taste a bit nutty,” said one man. “Disgusting.”

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