Grasshoppers are commonly consumed in Mexico and regions of Africa. However, they are hard to come by in the States. (Unless, you live next to some tall grass and its the right season. Being in Texas, there are plenty of grasshoppers to go around.)
Lets get right to the interesting stuff… what did I catch and what did it taste like!
5 different grasshopper species.
Preparation: The insects were frozen then rinsed. They were cooked in butter/oil until they changed color and held for an additional 2 minutes.
The flavors were very mild. They have a brothy flavor that is sort of like vegetable broth but non-descript. They didn’t taste like any particular protein or vegetable. The closest flavor I can think of is seaweed with a little bit of asparagus. I tried just 3 of the varieties and they were all similar in flavor.
The textures were pleasant. The exoskeletons broke down upon mastication. They were pretty dry; not a meaty texture.
How and where the insects were harvested:
Choice of Net
There are two main types of nets used by entomologists (Texas A&M video on nets). The aerial net and the sweep net… I choose the somewhat DIY way. I picked up a heavy duty leaf rake for pool cleaning and the local department store. The big advantage, it turns out, was the 8 foot pole!
It worked well as is. Once a grasshopper was in the net I just grabbed it and put it into the jar. I could only catch one at a time this way. Im thinking about cutting open the bottom of the net and adding netting from a mesh laundry bag. It would make it more difficult for them to jump back out (yes, this happened a few times).
I found a nice patch of uncultivated lane ‘behind a gas station’. The grass varied in density, type and height. The best spots were where the grass was dense and near a ravine. I knew I found a good spot because they were pretty loud.
I set out in the early afternoon on a hot Texas day in August. I probably should have waited until the evening as they are less active when the temperature drops. My understanding is that they are less active in cooler temperatures. The large ones can fly up to 20 feet making them really difficult to catch.