Concession stands are known to sell quick, indulgent and often nostalgic snacks such as hot dogs, french fries and nachos. Within the last couple of years, however, stadiums have introduced innovative (and sometimes over-the-top) options. The White Sox sell a 16″ grilled cheese sandwich topped with brisket and mac ‘n’ cheese. The Diamondbacks offer a Funnel Cake Chicken Sandwich, and the Rangers go big with a 2-foot-long, $27 tamale. But we think the Seattle Mariners have taken the proverbial cake on this one. Though their bold dish costs only $4, it’s certain to make some people shudder.
The dish? Toasted grasshoppers. Yup! You read that correctly. Bugs. They’re roasted and served tossed in spicy, zesty chili-lime salt.
You might assume the insects aren’t popular compared to, say, popcorn-but surprisingly, they’ve become a hit. The grasshoppers are so popular, the team is limiting sales to 312 orders per game. (Fun fact: This number reflects the lifetime batting average of designated hitter and third baseman Edgar Martinez).
The Mariners’ spokeswoman, Rebecca Hale, says the stadium has sold “roughly 18,000 grasshoppers … That’s more than the restaurant [that runs the stand], Poquitos, sells in a year.”
Though grasshoppers (and other bugs) aren’t a mainstream snack in the U.S., they’re eaten around the world. Grasshoppers and other insects, including crickets, are a good source of protein, and they’re more sustainable than the usual meat-based protein sources. Look for other foods, such as protein bars, made with this new ingredient at your local grocery store. Who knows? Maybe they’ll become as ordinary as chicken someday. (Our favorite recipes for homemade protein-packed snacks, however, remain bug-free.)
We’re curious: Would you be open to snacking on grasshoppers the next time you go to a ballgame? Let us know!