To catch a falling grasshopper, or “I just ate a freakin’ grasshopper”

Posted: December 11, 2007 in Blog

Approaching the office yesterday I watched dozens of people, mostly women and children, running around in the tall grass that lines the rail line running behind the newspaper office.

“What are they doing?” I wondered.

So upon walking into the newsroom I went to back wall of windows to get a second look at the commotion. But I realized what the fuss was all about before I could even lay eyes on the people because there, covering the windows, were hundreds of massive grasshoppers.

Down below people were running around with plastic water bottles, containers and grocery bags, catching grasshoppers by the bucket load.

Apparently the grasshoppers are migrating and so were passing through Kampala yesterday. I watched with fascination as some others in the newsroom laughed at me for being so amazed at the activity below

“Have you never had grasshopper?” they asked.

Laughing, I said no, grasshopper is not something I’d eaten before.

All day long, reporters were reaching through the windows to pluck grasshoppers off the exterior of the building and putting them in whatever containers they could find. By the end of the day, many were going home with bags and big containers jammed full of grasshoppers to cook up that night.

One promised me she would bring me grasshoppers today to try.

I thanked her. Wearily.

And so, with a smile and a laugh, this was plopped in front of me today as I was writing an article:

Fried grasshoppers

Yep, those are grasshoppers alright. All beady-eyed and delicious-looking. Everyone laughed as I sized up my foe, but I had said I would try them and, having tried ground termites earlier, I knew that grasshoppers and black ants were the two common foods here that I had not yet tried.

So I went in for the kill.

 Eating grasshopper

 The verdict?

 Not bad. Crunchy. Beady-eyed. Kinda tasty, really. I’m not sure quite what to compare the taste to, though it’s definitely not chicken.

  1. Joe Boughner says:

    So this grasshopper walks into a bar and the bartender says, “we have a drink named after you.” The grasshopper looks up in amazement and says “you have a drink named Steve?”

    Atta boy, M. Mason, way to immerse yourself in the local culture.

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