Cockchafer soup

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Faked cockchafer soup, "mockchafer soup", with toasted bread and liver (Cockchafers were substituted by crabs.)

Cockchafer soup is a European dish made from the cockchafer insect. It was a delicacy in Germany and France until the mid-1900s.[1] Its taste resembles crab soup.[citation needed] As cockchafers were once an incredibly common pest insect in Europe, with population explosions every 4 years, collecting enough cockchafers to make soup was very easy. Excessive pesticide usage caused their populations to collapse by the 1970s, however, with complete extirpation in many areas. Because the beetles are now relatively rare, the making of cockchafer soup has almost vanished entirely in communities where it was once commonplace.[2]


According to a French recipe from the 1800s, a batch of cockchafer soup requires 500 grams of the insect with their legs and wings removed.[2] They are fried in butter, then cooked in a chicken or veal broth. The soup can be strained and eaten as a boullion, or crushed cockchafers can be mixed with egg yolk and roux. The soup was served with slices of veal liver or dove breast[3] and with croutons. A single serving contains approximately 30 beetles.[4][5][6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hyman, Vicki (May 29, 2013), "Insect bites: Cooking with cicadas, New Jersey's newest crop Archived 2018-07-10 at the Wayback Machine." Retrieved May 31, 2018
  2. ^ a b Warner, Dick (May 8, 2006), "Bug has a long, colourful history Archived 2019-02-14 at the Wayback Machine," Irish Examiner. Retrieved May 31, 2018
  3. ^ Manoi. "Maikäfersuppe" (in German). Archived from the original on 2018-04-20. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  4. ^ Helge May. "Die Maikäfer sind wieder da" (in German). Archived from the original on 2014-09-03. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  5. ^ Schneider, Johann Joseph (1844). "Maikäfersuppen, ein vortreffliches und kräftiges Nahrungsmittel". Magazin für die Staatsarzneikunde Nr 3 (in German). Vol. 3. pp. 403–405. ISBN 3-87038-366-6.
  6. ^ "Maikäfer in Luxemburg : Historisches und Kurioses" (PDF) (in German). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-05-28. Retrieved 2018-05-04. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ Heyden, Bertha (1887). Kochbuch oder Gründliche Anweisung, einfache und feine Speisen mit möglichster Sparsamkeit zuzubereiten (in German) (16 ed.). Reutlingen: Enßlin und Laiblin. p. 40.