Honey’s boring – how to cook with bee larvae

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Bee larvae are eaten throughout the world, particularly in southeast Asia but also across the African continent.

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Photo: Nordic Food Lab, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

In Copenhagen, the Nordic Food Lab have been experimenting with bee larvae recipes. The brood combs come from Copenhagen-based social enterprise Bybi, who also sell it to Noma - ‘the world’s best restaurant’.

Better known for serving live ants, Noma have used bee larvae in their Swedish apple pancakes, which apparently sweetens them.

First, a note on preparation – how to 'freeze & shuck'

The first challenge the Nordic Food Lab team faced was to separate the larvae from the honeycomb; a painstaking task of picking and sieving. Blast-freezing the comb first helped to harden the wax; then shaking them in a big bucket to break it all up. They finally cracked it when they used liquid nitrogen to freeze and then easily ‘shuck’ the larvae. You can read more here.

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Photo: Nordic Food Lab, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

If you don’t have any liquid nitrogen to hand though, freezing and hand-shucking will get you there, if a little slower. The larvae are used in these recipes; you can pick out the more developed bees (pupae) for other uses.

Now check out four different recipes for bee larvae!

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