Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Jun 29, 2006 02:46 PM

Fried Grasshoppers and or Crickets

Have you eaten them? If so, how do they taste?
(A place in Fullerton sells them.)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. crunchy, spicy, salty since most of the flavor is in the spices. at least the ones I've had (they were small). Only tried them once, though, so definitely not an expert.

    Which place in fullerton sells them? El Fortin? just guessing since chapulines are a common oaxacan snack food..

    2 Replies
    1. re: adamclyde

      Yes, it was El Fortin.
      P.S. What dishes have you tried/can recommend there.

      1. re: Funwithfood

        hi, I'll post on the LA board in a few minutes about El Fortin. Great place.

    2. When I've eaten them at Typhoon in Santa Monica they've had the consistency of Quaker Puffed Wheat, with the flavor coming from the spice mixture.

      1. I've had them in Mexico. Nice crunchy salty snack with beer, kind of like pork rinds.

        1. Crunchy, with the flavor of whatever they've been cooked in. I've had them coated in teriyaki-style marinade, and they're quite good.

          1. Do not ... DO NOT ... eat these if they are from Oaxaca. Lots of places that sell these have people who bring them back from Mexico because people from the area prefer those particular grasshoppers.

            I was going to try some at a local joint, impressed by the fact that the owner told me he made a trip one a month to Mexico and brought back the grasshoppers ... where is customs when you need them?

            So googling to get more info on how these taste before making the leap, I found out they have LOTS and LOTS of lead. Even in Mexico they are trying to discourage people from eating the grasshoppers.

            Here's one government report


            You should also be careful about purchasing many candies from Mexico since they may also have a lot of lead in them.

            6 Replies
            1. re: rworange

              well, at least I already had brain damage to start out with, right?

              1. re: rworange

                While I clearly understand your point, just exactly how many chapulines would you have to eat at one sitting, or over the course of time, to be affected. I know that with some of the candy the effects can be rather quick depending upon how much or how concentrated the lead is in the candy. I know that with lead glazed ceramics, or peeling lead paint in tenaments, that the effects are felt over time and with continual consumption, such as using the plates every day.

                Is popping a couple, or 5 or 10 chapulines on an occasional visit to a restaurant serving them going to be a life threatening event?!?!!?!????

                1. re: DiningDiva

                  Don't know.

                  FDA link in my post says

                  "Recent analysis of chapulines from Oaxaca, Mexico, showed that they may contain as much as 2,300 micrograms of lead per gram of product. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended that children under age 6 should consume on average no more than 6.0 micrograms of lead each day from all food sources. A young child eating one of these highly contaminated chapulines could ingest nearly 60 times his or her tolerable daily intake for lead. While some of the chapulines analyzed contained no detectable lead, consumers have no practical way of determining if the product is contaminated with lead."

                  Grasshopper roulette, eh?

                  I don't know how that compares with eating a paint chip that has lead in it.

                  However, if you decide to try some, report back and let us know if there was any problem ... that is if you are able to report back and not drooling in your bowl of grasshoppers.

                  Seriously though, it's lead so however that affects a person it won't be any different with grasshoppers. If I really feel compelled to try one some day, I'll probably do some research on how much lead over how much time is dangerous so I can determine if it is worth the risk. I have never found paint chips compelling to snack on even as a child.

                  1. re: DiningDiva

                    We import Grasshoppers (Chapulin) from Oaxaca and they have been totally inspected by the FDA in October of 2007 - NO LEAD - Clean clean clean- nothing bad at all associated with the hoppers. I had read the same past information about Chapulines from Oaxaca so we particularly wanted the FDA report and inspection. There are lead based paints in Mexico which should not be used for food serving or consumption (only decorative) which could have been used in small in-house grasshopper production which is where most of the chapuline are prepared- so that might be where this initial contamination came from- just a guess though.. Most of the grasshoppers (they are NOT crickets) in Oaxaca are found in the local markets and are fried and seasoned with salt and chili. Our grasshoppers are commercially produced and packaged in small jars and one kilo bags- are dehydrated or air popped and seasoned with salt and lemon - lots of high end Mexican restaurants are starting to use them in NYC/DC and Philly etc. I describe them as the "Ultimate Bar Snack" and get lots of laughs at trade shows. Of coarse- we also have a Scorpion in our Mezcal so they kind of go together. Grasshoppers are very high in protein, crunchy (the dehydrated ones are) and taste good with guacamole on chips and in tacos. Grasshoppers are a seasonal food item and are caught and processed only during the rainy season- after the grasshoppers have laid their eggs and chow down on Alfalfa which cleans out their systems.

                    1. re: ScorpionMezcal

                      i go by 'BEEZO'
                      please respond ASAP, thanks!

                      1. re: BEEZO

                        Given that the post is from 2008 and only one of two posts that poster wrote ... both on the same day ... the other was about mezcal ... surprise ... I doubt you will get a reply.

                        However, if you Google "Scorpion mezcal" I believe you may find that vendor. No mention of the grasshoppers, but you can always email and ask.