First of all - new pictures! Check out the end of this album to see pics from Halloween and also some to go along with this post!
Now, on to the good stuff...Yesterday Ryan and I, but mostly Ryan, took our cultural adventures in Uganda to a whole new level!
We’d gone out to our trading center to do some shopping, and found a huge commotion at our stage. There was a large group of people, talking excitedly, grouped around a truck. As we got closer, we realized what it was - a truck full of grasshoppers! Fried grasshoppers are a common road snack in Uganda - and my dear Ryan does enjoy them - but we’d never seen them being sold (live) by the bagful! We started talking with a motorcycle (boda) driver friend of ours, Nelson, about the market happening in front of us, and...before we knew it...we’d spent 50 cents on a large plastic bag full of living, breathing, soon to be eaten grasshoppers!
Seeing our bewilderment at what we had just done, Nelson pulled us away from the crowd to do a little one-on-one grasshopper instruction. He started by pulling a grasshopper out of the bag, still moving, and demonstrating how to remove its wings and legs in preparation for cooking. Then, before we knew it, he’d found two boys from the village and promised them each a bitano (20 cents!) if they would come to our house with us and remove all of the wings and legs from the bag full of grasshoppers! Done! So, we walked back to our house, trailed by two little boys and a big bag of insects.
By the time we got home, we’d collected one more little child on the way. So, the three little ones sat down at our table and went to work. Nelson came up shortly after, and the four Ugandans and Ryan went to work dismembering the grasshoppers. Flies started pouring into our living room, and there was quite a horrible smell...No wonder....After a good 30 minutes of pulling and prying, the grasshoppers were ready to go. So, Nelson made his way to our kitchen and began to fry them up in a saucepan. In case you’re wondering, no oil is needed to fry grasshoppers! The little guys are chock full of fats that seep out as they cook, resulting in deep fried insects with all natural oils! (eeeew...) The grasshoppers took about 15 minutes to go from plump, bright green, very much alive insects, to a crispy, brown, flattened out snack food. Nelson even compared them to popcorn - a serious offense in my book. As he cooked, we had a good talk about the fine touches of frying grasshoppers, as well as my vegetarianism. The best way I could describe it to him was that I don’t eat anything with eyes. So, he made sure to point out the dozens of eyes staring at me from the frying pan in our kitchen! Thanks, Nelson...
There’s currently a large tupperware full of grasshoppers in our pantry. Never thought I’d say that sentence! Since we’re a one grasshopper eater family, you’re all invited to make the trip to Uganda to take part! Me - I’ll stick to veggies and popcorn!
If you stuck with me this far, you might be interested in a little live footage of the event! Not for the feeble stomached among us - I could barely stand it! But...for your viewing pleasure...The Food Channel, Uganda style!
Bon Appetit! We love and miss you all!
*For Daddio - ah, the good ol’ days! Did grasshoppers ever make it to the cabin or camp?