I ate a grasshopper today…well, actually, I ate several.
The entire ordeal started at snack time. Since it’s book week, we deviated from our original plan and had a picnic instead. Children had the opportunity to share their snacks and stories with their peers as a special treat. As they were eating, I tattered around, snapping photos of the students eating their snacks and reading stories together when all of a sudden….
What in the world! I stumbled upon one of my students’ snacks only to find what looked like a bunch of bugs in a plastic container!!
I looked at the student and asked, “What’s that?” He gave me a look of amazement at my clueless reaction to what was going on in his container. He said,“Oh, it’s grasshoppers!” His tone was very calm, collective-almost with a hint of sarcasim as if to say lady, don’t you know what this is??
Puzzled, I said, “Grasshoppers! You eat grasshoppers?” I was a bit shocked. Where had I been all this time to not know that this was the thing-kids are actually bringing grasshoppers to school…and eating them!
Then, the questions started rolling…(around in my head that is):
- Grasshoppers: What do they taste like?
- Why is this child eating bugs?
- Who came up with this idea anyways?
- Are they healthy?
Why all the hype over these grasshoppers? I
wanted needed to taste the infamous grasshoppers…for myself!
So, I asked him if I could try one of his grasshoppers. Of course, he obliged. As I grabbed one out of the container, I noticed that they all still had their eyes, feet AND green skin! Oh My!
As I was getting ready to take a bite, the (Ugandan) teachers came by and started sharing their stories about their experiences with grasshoppers. One said she absolutely loves them and that she fries them all the time with garlic and salt. The other one told me that it was her favorite food craving during pregnancy.
hmmmm…it turns out that eating grasshoppers is quite the delicacy in Uganda!
So, I tried the freakin grasshopper to see what the hype was all about and…. it actually wasn’t half bad.
I am actually a bit embarrassed… (or maybe not) to say this but ummm… I’ll probably eat a grasshopper or two again in the near future. The texture was crunchy, the taste was well seasoned and there wasn’t much meat, obviously. All in all, they were a tasty treat.
So there you have it. I tried something new. Although it may be weird to some, for me, it gave me an opportunity to connect more to the food traditions here.
Oh, so wait! My grasshopper story isn’t finished. Later on in the evening…
I see this street vendor guy. Well, well, well-lo and behold: What’s in his bucket?
Grasshoppers, of course!
I couldn’t believe it… Of course, my earlier curiosity from snack time prompted me to buy some from him…crazy, right?
Now that I’ve tried them, its inevitable that I’ll start seeing street vendors selling grasshoppers, kids bringing them to school and who knows where else…but grasshoppers! Everywhere, I tell ya!
It bugs me (pun really not intended) how some people come here and complain about the local food (not the grasshoppers, persay): It’s too dry, it’s not seasoned right, etc. You’re not at home so don’t expect to taste mom’s home cooked meal. In my opinion, they should learn to appreciate different types of food. Geesh!
I actually like the local food, maybe a little too much because It’s keeping me in the gym!
The lesson I learned from this entire experience is don’t knock it until you try it.
I am so proud of myself for trying something different and I’m happy that I made an effort to assimilate more with the foodie lifestyle here in…Uganda!
Until next time, be blessed.