Montana State University is expecting hundreds of people to attend its 32nd annual Bug Buffet on Wednesday, Feb. 12, when the public is invited to sample a wide variety of foods made from edible insects.

Wednesday’s free event runs from noon to 4 p.m., in Strand Union Ballroom A.

This year’s menu items will include cricket acorn bread, chapulines (grasshopper) sunchoke chips with crème fraiche, Tenebrio (mealworm) quesadilla with chapulines salsa, Orthoptera three sisters soup, smokey jumper watermelon-jicama salad, Tenebrio Montana lentil succotash, Bombyx (pupae) wild rice with juniper berries and spruce, iced Mexican chocolate brownies with cricket and black ant chokecherry smoothies.

Samples will be prepared under the supervision of MSU chefs Jill Flores and KayAnn Miller and food safety supervisor Dustin Schreiner. Individuals with allergies should be aware edible insects can trigger shellfish allergies. Gluten free options will be available.

The Bug Buffet will also include opening remarks at 12:30 p.m. by MSU President Waded Cruzado and informational booths about the nutritional and environmental benefits of edible insects. A variety of vendors in or related to the industry will also be on hand.

This year’s guest chef is Joseph Yoon, executive director of Brooklyn Bugs and a chef in New York City who has previously given presentations on food insects in Bozeman. Yoon will also judge a student cook-off and speak at an academic conference hosted at the Museum of the Rockies as part of the week’s events.

On Thursday, Feb. 13, the week’s events will culminate in an academic conference, “Novel Foods, Sustainability and Innovative Manufacturing Technologies,” which is set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Hager Auditorium at the Museum of the Rockies.

The keynote address will be given by Sonny Ramaswamy, president of the Northwestern Commission of Colleges and Universities, who is well-known for his views on food insects’ role in reducing the environmental footprint of agriculture.

Gail Schontzler can be reached at gails@dailychronicle.com or 582-2633.

Support quality local journalism. Become a subscriber.

Subscribers get full, survey-free access to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle's award-winning coverage both on our website and in our e-edition, a digital replica of the print edition.