What Crickets Really Taste Like, According To Nico Norena - Exclusive

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Nico Norena, aka The Succulent Bite, knows exactly the wield a food influencer has in the industry. Once, The Cheesecake Factory sent him tubs of ice cream. During the Pandemic, Yardbird had a DIY-fried chicken family-style box delivered to his door. For his birthday a couple of years back, a local bakery in Miami baked him a five-layer cake, its outsides decorated with pastry hamburgers and French fries. It was "insanely beautiful," Norena exclusively told Mashed.

Earlier this year, the foodie and his fiancée, Ariana Rueda, found themselves sampling haute cuisine in southern France. "We went to a restaurant called Chez Bruno. It's a Michelin-star restaurant that serves everything with truffle," Norena recounted. "It's the restaurant that's located inside of the chef's great grandma's house. The house has been in the family for a hundred years, and they've been cooking with truffle for all this time, and now they have this restaurant that's called Chez Bruno. It's five or six different courses, where everything comes with shaved truffle on top infused with truffle oils. It's absolutely delicious."

Restaurants, bakeries, and fast food chains flock to Norena like moths to the light. As for his most unexpected food experience? Norena is no Andrew Zimmern. He has, however, bitten into a cricket.

Nico Norena ate crickets in Mexico

Yes, Nico Norena lives in Miami. You'd be forgiven for not knowing that. From his socials alone, you might think Norena spends his time permanently hopping between the likes of The Grand Canyon, Cannes, Madrid, Machu Picchu, and Turks and Caicos. It was in Mexico that he tasted crickets for the first time. 

"The ones I had were a little juicy, if you will," Norena told Mashed. "They had this seasoning. I'm not sure if it was a tamarind seasoning, but I'll say this, they were juicy and a little chewy and they had this flavor, it was probably like a tamarind marinade that they had in them."

We know what your next question is — the answer is no. "Would I do it again? Probably not," Norena reflected. "Do I respect and enjoy that it's in certain restaurants? Absolutely. It wasn't my favorite, but it's definitely one of the things that I'm like, 'Okay. I tried crunch crickets!'"

You can pre-order Nico Norena's first cookbook, "The Succulent Bite: 60+ Easy recipes for Over-the-Top Desserts," here. In the meantime, make sure to follow Nico on Instagram & TikTok for daily content fixes and recipe inspiration.