I just can’t get away from bugs. Silkworm pupae, crickets and now grasshoppers. A co-worker of mine recommended a place called Mezcal in San Jose, California and we both had the chance to make the short trip down there from nearby Belmont. The food was supposed to be excellent but the grasshoppers were the major lure for this trip. Their style of grasshopper is roasted with salt, garlic and lime.
They were served with a bowl of guacamole and a stack of chips which both proved very valuable as time went on. They were nice and toasty warm when they arrived.
I jumped right in and grabbed a complete looking specimen from the bowl and isolated it from its crispy little friends for my examination.
These were clearly a fresher product than the boxed crickets I tried a while back. The abdomen was still kind of soft and had some meat to it. There was definitely some potential for an unpleasant squishy surprise. Time to dig in. The salty citrus taste was very strong and the first one went down so quickly I really didn’t taste much else. The first one was tasty enough that I was not going to be unhappy to try another. For the second test, I took my time and really tried to taste the whole thing. In addition to the salt and lime flavors there was a nutty earthy flavor that was excellent. Similar to a dried mushroom in many ways, a little funky, but very good. The slight softness of the body with the crunchiness of the exoskeleton was a great contrast. I loaded up my plate with a bunch more to enjoy.
This is where the chips and guacamole really earned their keep. Dipping a chip in guac and using it as a sticky avocado broom for various grasshopper bits was a real treat. It added to the contrast of soft and crunchy. The creamy guacamole was a great foil to the tangy salty grasshoppers. The three of us at dinner made short work of the whole bowl of grasshoppers.
They paired very well with a big mezcalrita.
The only drawback to the whole experience was getting a leg stuck between my molar and gums which was just as awkward as it sounds. Grasshoppers, particularly in this style get a resounding “try it”.