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History Cookbook: Sun-dried Salted Grasshopper

This recipe is in category Prehistoric
About this recipe
Healthiness : (179 votes)

Very difficult to obtain the grasshoppers and very difficult to drive the grasshoppers into the water, probably not too nice to eat either - one definitely to avoid.

Preparation Time: Several days
Cooking Time: 0
Number of servings: For many people

Evidence from at a lakeside cave near the Great Salt Lake in Utah, suggests that grasshoppers were eaten in great quantities by the prehistoric people in this region around 5000 years ago. 

It is though that willow sticks were used to drive the grasshoppers into the lake where they drowned. (These may have been immature (young) grasshoppers whose wings had not developed and therefore could not fly.) The Grasshoppers were then washed up on the shore and sun dried before consumption.

Insects would have been an important part of the prehistoric diet, especially during drier periods.

Information from an article printed in  "A Grasshopper in Every Pot" by David B. Madsen; Natural History; July, 1989.

  • several thousand grasshoppers
  • salt water
  • sand
  • sunshine
  • Willow branches
Making and cooking it
Always wash your hands before preparing food Always wash your hands before preparing food.

  1. Drive the grasshoppers into the water using the willow branches
  2. Spread the dead grasshoppers on the sand to dry in the heat of the sun
  3. Eat the grasshopper whole or alternatively you could mix the grasshoppers with crushed pine nuts and roast into little cakes.


Sun-dried Salted Grasshopper - print view  Sun-dried Salted Grasshopper - print view

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Name: Spring Glade 20th October 2017
Insects are a very widely eaten food, just not in our culture! Many edible insect snacks and foods are popular throughout the Americas, Africa and Asia, including fried salted grasshoppers. Very nutritious and better for the environment and cheaper to produce than mammal/poultry protein sources. Insect farming uses a fraction of the land and water than most other farming. Great sources of proteins, healthy fats and other nutrition. They mostly taste great too - it is just the thought of it that troubles our western minds! This is a great site, thank you!
Name: Seriously, Don't Try This 29th June 2011
From a food safety standpoint, you shouldn't try to eat wild grasshoppers prepared in this way. If you're inclined to eat grasshoppers, please roast them in an oven.
Name: 1960s Variation 27th June 2011
My step-father had a fellow working for him in the 60s who who would grab grasshoppers and hold them against the tailpipe of the truck enough to fry/dry them a bit, then ate them whole. Couldn't bring myself to try it though...
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