It’s no secret that part of the appeal of visiting your local Ikea store is the delicious Swedish meatball meals they serve, but would you still find them to be tasty if they were made out of bugs?
Ikea’s Copenhagen innovation lab, Space10, has been working on several menu items that they’re calling the “fast food of the future”. They’ve come up with five futuristic and sustainable recipes for classic family favourites: hot dogs, burgers, meatballs, salad, and ice cream. Space10 insist that not only are the recipes healthy and sustainable, they’re also delicious, but we have our reservations after looking at some of the innovative ingredients.
This is the season to enjoy: we’ve turned a few classic dishes into future-proof versions. Meet the Dogless Hotdog 🌭 it contains more protein than a regular hotdog just in the bread—made from spirulina—itself. 📸: @k_kristoffersen #SPACE10 #INSIDESPACE10 #copenhagen #hotdog #spirulina #futurefood #sustainablefood
“The Dogless Hotdog”, their take on a family barbecue favourite, is completely plant-based. You might be thinking “I’ve had a veggie dog before, that’s not innovative” but this goes beyond that. The bun is green thanks to it being made out of a micro-algae called spirulina, which “contains more beta carotene than carrots, more chlorophyll than wheatgrass, and 50 times more iron than spinach,” says Space10. The filling is also unique as it’s made with glazed baby carrots, cucumber and herb salads, roasted onions, a beet and berry ketchup, and mustard and turmeric cream. Sounds more like a sandwich than a hotdog to us!
Meet The Bug Burger—a spin of the traditional burger recipe that creates a synergy between new ingredients and old classics. What might look like a standard burger patty is actually a combination of beets, parsnips and mealworms created by our Chef-in-Residence @simonperezfood 📸: @k_kristoffersen #SPACE10 #🍔 #🐛 #whatscooking #INSIDESPACE10
When it comes to the burger, they’ve used a quite unique protein for the patty. In addition to beetroot, parsnip and potatoes, they have also included mealworms (a.k.a beetle larvae) in “The Bug Burger”. They claim that if you find that to be gross “then you probably don’t want to know what’s really in your beef burger, chicken nugget or pork sausage,” which they probably have a point about. The rest of the burger sounds pretty normal with a white-flour bun, relish, beetroot ketchup and salad mix.
The cleverly named “Neatball” is their latest version of the iconic Ikea meatball. They’ve expanded on their previous meatball creation “The Crispy Bug Ball”. Space10 say they were “designed to get people thinking about reducing their meat consumption, using local produce and trying alternative proteins.” They have two versions, the first being made with mealworms (known as “Bug Balls”), similar to the burger, and the second with root vegetables such as carrots, beets, and parsnips. Of course, they say the perfect side dishes would be mashed potatoes, gravy and lingonberry sauce.
Our take on local salads—a perfect in-between meal or sidekick prepared from a mix of hydroponic greens, spirulina and herbal dresses and crunches from leftover bread. Delicious and nutritious 🌱🥗 Picture by @k_kristoffersen Food by chef-in-residence @simonperezfood #SPACE10 #INSIDESPACE10 #kitchen #whatscooking @onemeal_dk
Space10 believes a balanced diet is important and say that the menu wouldn’t be complete without some greens to balance out those bugs. They’ve been growing tons of micro-greens in the basement including broccoli, pea sprouts, radishes and red frill mustard. They serve these greens as salads with their homemade dressing and crunchy toppings made of day-old bread to minimize food waste.
Of course, any good meal wouldn’t be complete without dessert and Space10 have used their micro-greens to create some nutrient-filled flavours. You have the pick of fennel, coriander, basil and mint or a combination of them all. They’re made with just 60g of sugar for a 600g batch so it’s super healthy. Thankfully, the additional sweetness is added from a mixture of apple juice, apples and lemon juice to make the classic sweetness of ice cream shine through.
Don’t be too worried about Bug Balls replacing your favourite meatballs at Ikea restaurants. Space10 say this is just research fresh from the test kitchen, and they have no plans to bring them to stores any time soon.