What's Floating Around

22 October 2018

Ants

Welcome to another week and we’d like to talk food this week as some of the menus we have seen recently from Conference Hotels and Venues really show a dramatic difference from those we were faced with when we first started delivering client events.

Stodgy seemed to be the order of the day back in the nineties and early naughties with a range of sandwiches with crisps and chips, and heavy baked goods with the odd token grape or slice of melon in a nod to healthy eating.

Ironically enough, if back then you were presented with anything green you thought you were being offered rabbit food which is the last thing most conference delegate wants to enjoy. However, all this stodgy food just made delegates sleepy and the first session after lunch at many an event became almost like a graveyard shift with no interaction and heavy eyes.

Luckily for us all these days, the majority of Conference venues and hotels have really stepped up their game with imaginative and tasty dishes that appeal to a wide range of diets and accommodate even the strictest diets, even factoring in allergies and the most fussy of delegates.

So what food trends can we look forward to in the future? Well exciting stuff lies ahead for conference delegates where their event planner has enough vision and dedication to embrace change. With food costs rising and the competition amongst chefs at an all time high, then standard conference food could well include bugs – and put there on purpose!

The notion of insects as food might make your skin crawl, but they have been eaten by people for thousands of years and are actively eaten in various parts of the world.

Insects are cheap, nutritious and according to some supporters, they are delicious and with over 2,100 edible insect species, they offer a vast array of options for preparing food items where insets are the main element.

Arguably, Mexico is the country where bug consumption is most popular, and you can find many Mexican delicacies such as candy-covered worms, chocolate-covered locusts, and ant eggs soaked in butter. Brazilians like to collect ants, remove wings and fry and eat them. They also like ants dipped in chocolate and to them, ants simply taste like mint.

Silkworm soup and grasshopper tacos are found in some San Francisco, New York, and Washington D.C. restaurants and whilst not widespread yet, eating bugs is becoming more popular in the U.S. And what is popular over in the States, invariably makes its way to the UK before long.

The dislike, disgust or fear of much of the trend towards the eating of insects will require a major shift in public perception and we doubt at this stage that many clients will embrace a conference menu where bugs are the main star – but who knows!

Now, where did we leave that chocolate covered ant?

Have a great week.