There’s a nearly limitless variety of king cakes available, reflecting the hundreds of years bakers have been cooking up that classic Mardi Gras desert.

There’s traditional, fruit fillings, cream cheeses, almond, and now, cricket. Audubon Insectarium Curator of Animal Programs Zack Lemann says their clever chefs cooked up quite a concoction…

“We like to put a buggy twist on everything including traditional dishes, so we’ve got this wonderful thing in king cake, why wouldn’t you add crickets to it?”
There’s over 30 grams of protein in a pound of cricket, and Lemann says the snack is quite filling.

“Depending on how full of crickets you want your king cake to be, it could be borderline nutritive, because we all know a king cake is a whole lot of sugar and not much else, and crickets do have a good amount of protein in them.”

Leman says the crickets add a real depth of flavor to the iconic treat.

“Typically if you roast a cricket and you eat a cricket that has been roasted, it tasted a lot like a sunflower seed. That kind of nuttiness is not unlike having shaved almonds or bits of pecan on your king cake.”

The cakes are baked from scratch at the insectarium. You can order one there, or this Sunday at the King Cake Festival in Champions Square.