Edible insects at scout fair

Words and photo by Dave Barry 

Visitors to Scarborough’s annual scout fair were challenged to eat various dead insects.

Protein-packed mealworms (beetle larvae), crickets and grasshoppers were on the menu at the old Tech in Lady Edith’s Drive.

All are eaten in various places around the world but not very often in the UK.

Without irony, Tom Cross, 11, of Derwent Valley scouts described the taste of a grasshopper as “lovely - it’s yummy!”

His dad Rick, who was running the ‘bush-tucker trial’, added: “Crickets are the best, like bacon”.

For £1.50, all comers were served four teaspoons of the dried insects, including two types of mealworm.

Rick got the idea during a family visit to a tropical centre in Anglesey, Wales.

“Then we had a session eating them with the scout group”, he said.

Beryl Lewis, assistant district commissioner for beaver scouts, said: “On the Derwent Valley stall we also had pillow fighting which drew the crowds, a tombola and hair braiding, which went on long after we took the stall down”.

Assistant district commissioner Bonnie Purchon said it was one of the best scout fairs to date, with fine weather and lots of people buying things and joining in.

“The Wreyfield Boys Brigade played and marched in the arena, which was a great sight. It’s not easy, marching and playing at the same time.

“Thanks to captain Chris Bairstow and all our sections in the arena: beavers, cubs and scouts”, Bonnie said.

“The explorers could not do their usual tug-of-war as someone had gone off with the rope”.

All seven scout groups in Scarborough were represented at the fair, which raised £3,000.

The 46th Westborough group, which is going to the 24th world Jamboree, raised £560. Each young member has to raise £3,600.