Oddly Enough

German shoppers sample burgers made of buffalo worms

AACHEN, Germany (Reuters) - Supermarket shoppers in the western German city of Aachen have stepped out of their comfort zone to sample insect burgers made of buffalo worms.

The worms, highly nutritious due to their high protein content, are the larvae of buffalo beetles and are bred in the Netherlands.

Served in rolls with lettuce, onions and tomatoes, they are being offered to customers at a supermarket in Aachen where they have just been added to the stock range after proving successful in the Netherlands and Belgium.

One passerby who tried one of the burgers, Manfred Roedder, said he believed they were a good alternative to meat, adding: “I had reservations at first but I got a second serving because it tasted so good.”

Baris Oezel, one of the founders of the start-up called Bugfoundation that makes the burgers, said he spent four years working on the concept along with company co-founder Max Kraemer.

The pair got the idea after traveling together to southeast Asia, where it is not uncommon to eat insects.

“It’s quite simple. You have to create an aesthetic product that looks good and doesn’t show any insects,” Oezel said, adding that people were attracted by the smell of the burgers.

But not everyone is sure about them.

“We have people who are totally thrilled to find out about the whole thing and have been looking forward to it for days,” said Michael Reinartz, manager of a Rewe supermarket in Aachen where the burgers are now being sold. “And we have people who say: You’re not seriously doing that?!”

Reporting by Reuters Television; Writing by Michelle Martin; Editing by Gareth Jones