Abuzz over tasty mealworms

Cooked mealworms rest in a pan at an Entomology class at Texas A&M. (File)

We know, from children's rhymes, to go eat worms when "nobody likes me, everybody hates me."

Now there's another reason: They taste good. Or so says celebrity chef Sang Hoon Degeimbre. And students in his master cooking class in Belgium, who ate worms thinking they were eating minced lamb, agreed.

Actually, he prepared, and they ate, mealworms - the larval stage of the beetle.

First he marinated the mealworms in ginger, pear and herbs, and then he sautéed them with garden vegetables.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Mr. Degeimbre has agreed to lend his name to a range of mealworm-based spreads - from chocolate to tomato-tapenade. The company producing the bug bites, Green Kow, is part of a business trend in Belgium, which is the first European country to draw up safety standards for edible bug sales. For example, their origin must be traceable, and there must be proof that they have been handled hygienically. And it isn't just mealworms. The rules apply to grasshoppers, crickets and seven other insects.

Coming next from Green Kow? Sauce bug-lonese, a riff on Italy's Sauce Bolognese.

Millions of people eat insects. They are a source of protein, fiber, iron and magnesium. And they reproduce rapidly.

Charleston is now officially a favorite destination for foodies. And Charleston is a favorite hangout for Palmetto bugs.

Maybe there's a business in there somewhere.