Where the grasshopper isn’t just the name of a drink

One of my first ever food posts on my own weblog was about edible insects, so I guess it’s appropriate that I kick things off here with a post about eating bugs. That early post was about the cicadas that were then swarming around DC and the many ways to cook them up. I never got around to trying them out, but I admit to being a little tempted by the insect offerings at Crystal City’s Mexican restaurant Oyamel. The Washington City Paper describes how chef Joshua Linton gets authentic by serving up grasshoppers. The pre-Coloumbian fare is updated for modern palates by being wrapped in a taco, but even so it could be a bit unnerving to bite into this:

Fighting some deep-seated bug phobia, I bite into one of Oyamel’s grasshopper tacos, an item that executive chef José Andrés occasionally features on his specials menu. The tortilla is crammed with at least a hundred tiny sautéed chapulines, which are piled atop a layer of guacamole like dead soldiers in a mass grave. The taco is more about heat and texture than about the characteristic flavor of grasshoppers, whatever that may be. More than once, I pull out a grasshopper leg from between my teeth.

Believe it or not, the guacamole scares me more than the bugs. I’ve tried it on several occasions and never developed a taste for it. I’ll have to learn to like that before I tackle Linton’s taco. Until then, I’ll take my grasshoppers with creme de menthe.

[Via The Morning News.]

[This post was originally published at EatFoo(d) on 7/3/06.]