Argyll and Bute Hotel plan to serve burgers made from midges
An Argyll and Bute hotel owner plans to serve burgers made with midges to his customers.
David Keat, who owns the Brander Lodge Hotel near Oban, said he would harvest the midges from the hotel's midge exterminator machines. The burgers would be dipped in a coat of midges, like breadcrumbs, and a special secret ingredient added.
The plans are due to be considered by Environmental Health from Argyll and Bute Council.
Mr Keat, who admitted the idea started off as a joke, said he came up with it after creating a vegan "midge fodder burger" using leaves and herbs grown in the hotel's garden, which attract the tiny insects.
He said: "If you are angry and you want to get your own back on the midges, you can eat them for a change, instead of them eating you."
He insisted that the idea of eating insects was becoming more mainstream.
Mr Keat said: "We just thought that, with ants and grasshoppers on menus across the world, Scotland has a ready supply of protein-filled midges and, because of our location, we have an ample supply of the wee blighters.
"There is a huge plague of midges this year. We're seeking advice via the health authorities and plan to send a midge burger to be tested, to see if it is fit for eating."
The midges will be coated on to the outside of the burger, like breadcrumbs, said Mr Keat, adding: "I will cook one of the vegan patties and fry it up out of hours, in my own domestic kitchen, freeze it, and send it away for testing.
Iain MacKinnon, Environmental Health Manager for Argyll and Bute Council, said midge burgers were certainly "an unknown quantity."
He added: "In principle we have no objection, but it would need to be thoroughly tested and checked before it was served up to humans.
"You would need to make sure that the cooking process is able to deal with any bacteria and it would need to go to a food science lab, to make sure it's fit for human consumption."