I had to move my office recently, and now I can’t find one of my favorite insect cookbooks–Entertaining with Insects:

Taylor, Ronald,  Carter, Barbara. 1976.  Entertaining With Insects.  Or:  The Original Guide to Insect Cookery. Santa Barbara, Calif.:  Woodbridge Press Publ. Co., 160 pp.

Does anyone out there have a copy? Can you send me the recipe for John the Baptist Bread?  I’m supposed to be doing a 4-H workshop this weekend, and can’t find the recipe online. Help!

All I remember is that you roast crickets (since locusts are hard to come by in Michigan), grind them into flour (a coffee grinder is excellent for this, but you will find the odd tarsi in your beans later on), and mix it with lots of honey to make a very nice little cake.

The name of the bread comes from a passage in Mark 1.6: “And John was dressed with the hairs of a camel and with a belt of skins around his loins, and he ate locusts and wild honey.”

What, exactly, John the Baptist really ate is a subject of a lot more scholarly study than I had imagined.  There is what appears to be a review on the topic here; also a LONG pamphlet called “The Diet of John the Baptist” online at Google Books, and much more if you care to use your Google-Fu.

Some authors take a rather entomophobic approach that it was the locust tree, not actual locusts, that were eaten.  However, this ignores the long tradition of eating locusts in Africa.

I’m sticking with the Orthopteran explanation!

BTW, the Food Insect Site has a List of cookbooks for Entomophagous folks.

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. Found these:
    ..but no cricket bread recipes.

    Also found a reference to “Entertaining With Insects, or: The Original Guide to Insect Cookery” by Ronald L. Taylor an Barbara J. Carter (978-0964583801), which supposedly contains the recipe.

    Got a big library nearby?

  2. For the sake of completeness, I checked B&N and Borders. No luck. Also checked the county library (which has a nice ISBN lookup online) but they don’t have it either.

  3. Better stay from religion at a 4-H meeting…settle for making these…

    Chocolate Chirpies
    (Adapted from a recipe in “Entertaining with Insects” by Ronald L. Taylor and
    Barbara Carter, Woodbridge Press, 1976)
    2 cups sugar
    2/3 cup cream
    2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon butter
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 cup dry-roasted crickets or grasshoppers, chopped
    Put whole crickets in a colander, rinse and pat dry. Dry roast on a cookie
    sheet in oven at 200o F. Chop the crickets.
    Mix sugar, cream, chocolate and salt in a saucepan. Over medium heat, stir
    constantly until chocolate melts and sugar dissolves. Continue cooking until
    mixture reaches 234o F on a candy thermometer. Remove chocolate mixture from
    heat and add butter.
    Without stirring, let mixture cool to 120o F. Add vanilla and beat vigorously
    with a wooden spoon until mixture is thick, for 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in
    insects. Spread mixture evenly in a buttered loaf pan. Let cool until firm.
    Cut in 2-inch squares.

  4. Actually, the bible crowd loves it.

    I like the chocolate chirpies, though. You can never go wrong with chocolate!

  5. Well, you *can* go wrong with chocolate (one of my old housemates once put chocolate syrup on scrambled eggs – Urgh, that tasted awful) but yes, it is difficult.

  6. Eat a Bug Cookbook has a recipe for St John’s Bread on page 22.


  7. I have a copy somewhere at home. I’ll try to dig it our tonight and post the recipe for you.

  8. Oh good. Glad that worked out. I’d hate for the kids to go bug-less.

  9. […] And if you want something interesting to read, try Bug Girl’s blog where she’s currently in search of a recipe for bug bread… […]

  10. […] JTB bread turned out pretty good, although it (as usual) tends to rise in the middle to form a dome-shaped […]

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