By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The state fair is full of cheese curds, pronto pups, and all kinds of things on a stick. But there is one food that some people may be reluctant to try, at least at first.

They’re not just on a stick. They’re in butter and are sprinkled in as a snack. Gentlemen Forager sells crickets as food, and their customers can’t get enough.

“If it’s from the woods or the waters and it’s delicious, we are interested,” said Mike Kempenich, the owner of Gentleman Forager. His company recently invented a Lion’s Mane Mushroom Nut Butter.

But what they’re really known for are crickets. They work with the “Three Cricketeers” out of St. Louis Park to grow and sell the insects as food.

Credit: CBS

“About 80% of the world consumes a lot of bugs,” said Kempenich. “It’s a great protein source. It has a lot of vitamins and minerals. It actually has twice the iron source as beef.”

They taste like pumpkin seeds. The insects fit right in the honey cricket nut butter. There are also BBQ and sofrito crickets mixed with sunflower seeds.

The business is like farming, but instead of raising cattle, they’re raising crickets.

They also have a candy bar made out of black forest walnuts, packed with the help of Pearson’s candy company.

Gentleman Forager is on the first floor of the Grandstand Building.

John Lauritsen