Thursday, March 20, 2014

Uganda is a relatively small landlocked country in East Africa packed with incredibly beautiful, natural scenery. This is where you’ll find the true source of the Nile, the highest mountain range in Africa, and the largest concentration of primates on the planet. It’s the birthplace of Prossy, one of our waitresses, and home to a thriving informal trade in grasshoppers, which are popularly eaten as a favourite seasonal snack or meal.


Crispy grasshoppers are a popular treat throughout Uganda
Trapping grasshoppers

Historically, grasshoppers are foraged for in the long grass but nowadays “nsenene” or grasshopper catchers have devised a clever method for trapping them using aluminium sheets. The sheet’s lower end rests on large open barrels or buckets. The upper part of the sheeting leans against wooden frames, at the top of which dangle fluorescent lights to lure the nsenene. When the lights go on, the unsuspecting soon-to-be-snack flies towards the light, straight into the aluminium sheet and slides down into the barrel. Grashopper traps are fairly easy to assemble but, powered by electricity, it’s costly to run them and Uganda already has a power shortage.

Tastes like chicken

While they might appear unappetizing to the unaccustomed palate, these hoppers are high in protein. The taste has been likened to crispy chicken skin and they’re consumed hot or cold with a good glug of cold beer or soda.

Preparation and cooking

Prior to cooking “nsenene”, the legs, wings and antennae are removed and discarded and the remaining portion is deep fried or sautéed in onion, and sometimes tomato and chili. Some frying methods include adding a little oil but by most accounts the fatty abdomen provides sufficient oil for frying.


Our beloved Prossy hails from Uganda
Top global tourism destination

National Geographic ranked Uganda in its top 20 global destinations in 2013. Lonely Planet named Uganda best travel destination in 2012. Winston Churchill referred to Uganda as “The Pearl of Africa” in 1908. It’s quite possible, and even likely, that none of these accolades had anything to do with the consumption of these little crispies.


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