A forgotten traditional dish
In large parts of the world, insects are a common food, while for many Europeans the idea alone causes a feeling of disgust. The consumption of crawling animals is not a new development in this country either. Until the middle of the last century, a few insect dishes were also common in Germany. Thus, seasonal beetle soup was served in North Hesse and Thuringia, which is said to have a taste similar to crayfish soup (the author has not tried it herself; editor's note). The clumsy brummers were also available as spring desserts, roasted and candied in pastry shops. Today only the chocolate cockchafer remembers this - without any insect component.
The cockchafer soup is described in the magazine for state medicine in 1844 as "excellent and strong food". Here's how to best prepare them. First the cockchafer is collected alive from the trees - around 30 animals per serving. You shouldn't have eaten oak leaves, otherwise they taste bitter.
Before preparation, the beetles are washed and the horn-like wings and legs removed. Then they are crushed with a mortar, roasted in hot butter and cooked in a meat broth. The soup is passed before eating and bound with a little roux and egg yolk. Cockchafer soup was often refined with sliced calf's liver and chives and served with toasted white bread.
May beetles belong to the group of hawthorn beetles and spend four years of their lives as grubs in the ground. Only then do the gray-brownish young beetles hatch, which mainly feed on leaves of deciduous trees such as beech and oak. For some years now, the animals have appeared more frequently, but mass increases are rarely observed. In the past, cockchafer were so numerous that they were targeted and eaten. (Heike Kreutz, aid)