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Moth-Flavoured Pancake, Anyone?

Bogong MothsAfter years of being encouraged to "throw another shrimp on the barbie", Australians are now being urged instead to tuck into the bogong moths.

Each year at this time millions of the moths fly south from Queensland into New South Wales to avoid the summer heat. Along the way, thousands also get blown into suburban homes.

The "munch a moth" campaign is being led by Jean-Paul Bruneteau, 51, a French-born chef who is regarded as a worldwide pioneer of such delights as smoked emu, lemon myrtle and bunya nuts. "They have a lovely popcorn flavour, like hazelnut," he said.

Bogong Moths
Mr Bruneteau, who has run "bush tucker" restaurants in Sydney and Paris, suggests pulling off the "furry" wings, then popping the moths in the oven for three minutes in a splash of canola oil.

Alternatively the chef, who trained in the Royal Australian Navy, recommends putting them through a coffee blender and sprinkling the resulting powder into an omelette, pancake or crepe.

Source: Telegraph
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Having introduced Jean-Paul to the world of authentic Australian foods way back in the 1980s (despite his claims of discovering them while "researching" his book) I now realise that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

When my company supplied his long-closed restaurant I would harvest the moths from pristine areas of our high country to ensure that the moths were indeed safe to serve and eat. The moths I gathered were snap-frozen in the bush using dry ice and transported this way back to Sydney.

What J-P is now advocating is actually foolhardy as the moths can commonly be seen flying out from sewers and drains where they have spent the daylight hours before heading out to feed in the twilight and night.

As for picking off the wings, the traditional way of eating these deliciously fat and sweet insects is to catch them by the net-full and tip the fluttering mass into hot ash. The heat kills them quickly and with a simple dusting, they are warmed through and one of the best foods, particularly with some roasted vanilla or chocolate lily tubers found at the edge of streams and bogs near the moth hunting ground.

Incidentally, the moths are sweet because they suck nectar from the snow gums and some of the moths use this energy source to help them make the trip back to central Queensland which is where they started their epic journey some months ago.

Wow! Many thanks for taking the time to write and share such detailed information. Appreciate it! :)

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