Giant cranberry and water bug cocktails for him, caramelised worms for her?

For Valentine’s Day lovers, a bar in Tokyo is offering a rather unusual alternative to chocolate this year.

When we discovered that a Tokyo restaurant was offering chocolate ramen noodles for Valentine’s Day, we were certainly intrigued. Mixing chocolate (a Valentine’s Day favorite) with ramen (an Asian favourite) seemed inventive, unusual and to somewhat tempting.

Now, according to Reuters, a bar in Tokyo has taken it one step further by mixing standard Valentine’s Day treats with insects. Yes, insects.

Giant water bugs, worms and other creepy crawlies are all an offer at this unique Tokyo bar.

“They are crispy like the skin of walnuts and go pretty well with chocolate,” Sayumi Makino, 20, told Reuters Television at the Duranbar in central Tokyo.

According to the news agency, Duranbar’s menu included cranberry and water bug cocktails and caramelized worms with almond and cashews. Even the whipped cream on certain desserts contains the fluids of giant Thai water bugs. Apparently, water bugs are known for their sweet taste.

Eating insects is not an uncommon practice in certain regions of Asia, but is a rarity in Japan.

The university student who organised the bug cocktail evening said his aim was to promote alternative food culture. “I love insects and I think it’s really fun to eat them,” Yuta Shinohara said, adding they were a sustainable food source too.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) states that insects are rich in fat, protein, vitamins, fibre and minerals. Unsaturated omega-3 and six fatty acids are found in mealworms, which is comparable to fish and is actually higher than that found in beef and pork.

The FAO adds that more than 2 billion people eat insects and more than 1,900 species are used for food.

Watch the video coverage here.