Eat Like THE BOXTROLLS at San Diego Comic Con with Chef David George Gordon’s Edible Insects

Can’t wait for Laika’s newest stop-motion animated film THE BOXTROLLS to open?  Neither can I, so I jumped at the chance to have lunch with the Boxtrolls at San Diego Comic-Con.  (Disclaimer – while I usually don’t post spoilers, there will be some minor spoilers, here, specifically, the Boxtrolls diet.)  In the parking lot next to Petco Park, a food truck court was organized.  The standard fare was available, but not quite what we were looking for.  Then the Eat Like the Boxtrolls truck rolled up with Chef David George Gordon at the helm.  So, (and here’s the spoiler), the Boxtrolls dine on a specific delicacy . . . bugs.

Eat Like the Boxtrolls Food Truck at San Diego Comic-Con

Eat Like the Boxtrolls Food Truck at San Diego Comic-Con

Boxtrolls Running the Eat Like the Boxtrolls Food Truck at San Diego Comic-Con

Boxtrolls Running the Eat Like the Boxtrolls Food Truck at San Diego Comic-Con

 

Chef David prepared dishes from his New York Times-acclaimed cookbook, “The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook,” using wax worms, tarantulas, grasshoppers and chapulines, tempting hungry Boxtrolls and people alike.

The Menu at the Eat Like the Boxtrolls Food Truck at San Diego Comic-Con

The Menu at the Eat Like the Boxtrolls Food Truck at San Diego Comic-Con

 

I wish I could give you a detailed description of how the dishes tasted (and mouthfeel, which is a big part of eating for me and seems particularly relevant when eating bugs), but I’m allergic to shellfish and the warning sign at the #EatLikeTheBoxtrolls food truck made it clear that I shouldn’t try any of them.  Instead, I’ll give you descriptions of the bugs and dishes.

Wax Worm Quesadilla at the Eat Like the Boxtrolls Food Truck at San Diego Comic-Con

Wax Worm Quesadilla at the Eat Like the Boxtrolls Food Truck at San Diego Comic-Con

 

I was able to eat a quesadilla without the wax worms and it was delicious!  Crispy tortilla, ooey, gooey cheese and perfectly sauteed vegetables.  The wax worms (which are, in fact, caterpillars, would have added a slight crunch and a protein punch.

Chapulines, seasoned with Lime and Chile, at the Eat Like the Boxtrolls Food Truck at San Diego Comic-Con

Chapulines, seasoned with Lime and Chile, at the Eat Like the Boxtrolls Food Truck at San Diego Comic-Con

 

Chapulines are a delicacy in Mexico and are a type of grasshopper that are harvested prior to growing wings.  From a nutrition standpoint, they are very good for you (beware of the source, as some can be high in lead) with a very high protein content.  At the #EatLiketheBoxtrolls food truck, the chapulines were seasoned with lime and chile, then covered in dark chocolate.  I don’t have a picture of the chocolate-covered chapulines, because they didn’t really look like grasshoppers after the dunking, but you can see one on the cover of Chef David’s book.

Chef David George Gordon's "The Eat-A-Bug Cookbook" inspired the menu at the Eat Like the Boxtrolls Food Truck

Chef David George Gordon’s “The Eat-A-Bug Cookbook” inspired the menu at the Eat Like the Boxtrolls Food Truck

 

Tarantulas are the crab of the bug-cuisine world.  Without getting too graphic about the preparation, I can tell you that the hair is singed off the legs prior to cooking.  We were served tarantulas dipped in tempura batter and deep-fried.  As with crabs, only the legs are eaten.  NB – I have never eaten a crab and this analogy was used at the event to describe how to eat a tarantula.

Tempura Tarantula at the Eat Like the Boxtrolls Food Truck at San Diego Comic-Con

Tempura Tarantula at the Eat Like the Boxtrolls Food Truck at San Diego Comic-Con

Chef David George Gordon sharing tempura tarantula legs with guests at the Eat Like the Boxtrolls Food Truck at Comic Con

Chef David George Gordon sharing tempura tarantula legs with guests at the Eat Like the Boxtrolls Food Truck at Comic Con

 

The grasshoppers were seasoned with teriyaki and grilled on skewers.  I think this would have been the most difficult for me to eat.  Other guests described legs and wings getting caught in their throats, but admitted that they were pretty tasty.

Teriyaki Grasshopper Kabob at the Eat Like the Boxtrolls Food Truck at San Diego Comic-Con

Teriyaki Grasshopper Kabob at the Eat Like the Boxtrolls Food Truck at San Diego Comic-Con

 

So, that’s the menu.  Now for the special guests!  Several of the Boxtrolls were in attendance:

Sparky, Shoe and Fish at the Eat Like the Boxtrolls Food Truck at San Diego Comic-Con

Sparky, Shoe and Fish at the Eat Like the Boxtrolls Food Truck at San Diego Comic-Con

 

When they weren’t hogging the food, they were hanging out with Isaac Hempstead Wright, who plays Eggs in THE BOXTROLLS.  Wright wasn’t especially excited about eating the bugs, but he did dig in after some encouragement.

Isaac Hempstead Wright with Sparky and Shoe at the Eat Like the Boxtrolls Food Truck at Comic Con

Isaac Hempstead Wright reacts to lunch at the Eat Like the Boxtrolls Food Truck with Sparky and Shoe at Comic Con

Isaac Hempstead Wright eats a teriyaki cricket with Shoe at the Eat Like the Boxtrolls Food Truck at San Diego Comic-Con

Isaac Hempstead Wright eats a teriyaki cricket with Shoe at the Eat Like the Boxtrolls Food Truck at San Diego Comic-Con

 

Towards the end of lunch, we were surprised by the arrival of Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi, who directed the stop-motion animated movie.  I’d met them previously and enjoyed catching up again, after they had a bite of bugs, of course.

Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi dig in at the Eat Like the Boxtrolls food truck

Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi dig in at the Eat Like the Boxtrolls food truck

The Stars Gathering at the Eat Like the Boxtrolls Food Truck at San Diego Comic-Con

Fish, Shoe, Graham Annable, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Anthony Stacchi, and Sparky at the Eat Like the Boxtrolls Food Truck

 

THE BOXTROLLS opens September 26th, nationwide – less than two months to go!  I can’t wait to see this movie, especially after meeting the Boxtrolls in person, click here for all our coverage of the film.  Thank you to the Boxtrolls, Chef David George Gordon, and Focus Features for inviting me to your very special lunch at San Diego Comic-Con!

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About George Gensler

George Gensler is a copyrights specialist during the week and a runner on the weekends. She lives in New York City now, but has lived in five countries on three continents. She grew up traveling the world, but her official residence was in Southern California and every visit home included a trip to Disneyland. She has also visited every Disney Park around the world and sailed on board two Disney cruises. She threw in a visit to the Disney Family museum in San Francisco for good measure, and has had the Premier Disney Park Pass since its inception.