Live bugs aren't generally considered high cuisine. But if they're live bugs foraged for a restaurant that was voted best restaurant in the world, we suppose someone must be on to something. Noma is a restaurant in Denmark which specializes in what can only be described as modern Nordic cuisine. A significant portion of their interpretation of Nordic cuisine seems to include foraged foods.
Foraging is all the rage these days, particularly at the upper reaches of fine dining. It's not unusual to hear about restaurant chefs foraging a spot of moss, the odd mussel or even wild mushrooms to include in their evening lineup. But it's not unreasonable to believe that the chefs foraging for mussels are probably happier with their career choices than the ones plunging their hands into a pile of live ants.
Of course the immediate question is: What on Earth do they need ants for?
Well they don't just need ants, they need live ants for their desserts.
Ants are apparently something of a tradition at Noma. In a recent interview, Noma pastry chef Rosio Sanchez explains that ants for dessert is more or less par for the course at Noma. She insists that they are not a novelty but that they're used because they bring a "intense acidity" to dishes. Although to completely fair, it's possible that it's simply Americans who are squeamish about eating anything that isn't a cow.
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