FRM News

Easthams: African Snacks

| FRM News

Ugandans have their own snack foods, and one of them is now our favorite.  Fried peas.  The brand we like has them dusted with chili powder.  Even Gabby loves them.

But Ugandans also have some other snack foods.  One of them is fried grasshoppers.  Just drive down any major street and you are bound to find vendors with plastic bins selling small envelopes of these green insects to motorists.

The grasshoppers are caught at night.  These flying insects are attracted to bright lights, and there are people waiting below the lights to capture them.  The grasshoppers are fried and sold on the street to passers-by and drivers stuck in traffic.  I’ve heard the tastier ones are cooked with diced onion.  The vendors will even give you a free sample so that you can be assured of their freshness.

A few days ago I was approached by a grasshopper vendor.  A colleague of mine made sure they were fresh, and bought a small tin of these formerly flying insects for about $2.

Fried grasshoppers taste a bit like french fries, but that description does not do the insects or their cooks justice.  They are definitely crunchy, but the aftertaste can be on the oily side.

Joseph, who typically consumes anything, declined my offer to eat the grasshoppers.  I expected Lily and Gabby to turn away from the food, but not Joseph.  My only taker was Benjamin.  He had a small second helping but indicated that he was not particularly fond of this snack food.


So, if you ever come to Kampala, I’ll be happy to help you find a fried grasshopper vendor.  In fact, I’ll probably share them with you.  The rest of my family, however, will probably prefer their fried peas.

John Eastham

New Missionary to Kampala, Uganda