What’s It Take to Get a Decent Grasshopper Around Here?

Yum. Photo: iStockphoto

Earlier, we noted that La Esquina served grasshoppers at the bar during the Spotted Pig’s Super Bowl party, and there’s more reason to believe entomophagy is catching on. Next Tuesday, the Gastronauts, last seen eating python, will hold a bug-eating dinner at a “posh apartment.” Their master of ceremonies will be David Gracer, a Rhode Island enthusiast who lectures on edible insects and serves them at private parties. Gracer recently wrote on his blog, Bugs for Dinner!, that he was bummed he couldn’t find markets selling them in New York. To help Gracer in his quest, we turned to Miguel Calvo, a mixologist who will be serving cocktails rimmed with grasshopper salt at Crema this Valentine’s Day.

Calvo says he’s had similar problems scoring fresh insects — he hasn’t been happy with the quality of dehydrated grasshoppers he receives, but he finds that cricket and agave-worm salt (made from grinding the insects in salt, chile, and cornflower) adds a musky, deeper flavor to the rim of tequila glasses and sour-based cocktails. An employee at the restaurant snags the salt, which is distributed by Caballeros, Inc., at a Mexican deli in Jackson Heights (we’ll let you know when we get coordinates). Calvo is also on the lookout for escamoles, or “Mexican caviar” — the larvae of ants harvested from the roots of tequila plants. If you know where he can score this or other insect delicacies, let us know via the comments, and we’re sure Calvo will treat you to some Scorpion mescal.

Related: Bugs for Dinner! [Sunshine Land Shrimp]
Gastronauts [Official site]
Spotted Pig’s Super Bowl Party: Grasshoppers, Mariachis, and Pig (Natch)

What’s It Take to Get a Decent Grasshopper Around Here?