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Sports >  Seattle Mariners

Off the Wall: Mariners fans bugging out over grasshoppers

 (Courtesy / @SI_ExtraMustard)
(Courtesy / @SI_ExtraMustard)
By Matt Bonesteel Washington Post

Each new baseball season brings horrific new ways for fans to stuff their food-holes, as ballpark concessions officials come up with increasingly obscene options to combine one unhealthy food with approximately 16 other unhealthy foods, creating dishes that seem less like treats and more like dares.

But the Seattle Mariners kept things comparatively simple this year – at least in terms of preparation and the number of ingredients – tabbing local eatery Poquitos to sell an Oaxacan delicacy called chapulines: grasshoppers toasted in a chili-lime salt.

And they are wildly popular.

The Mariners sold out of the grasshoppers during their first three home games of the season and, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, had to make an emergency order just to get through the team’s weekend series with the Texas Rangers. The team also imposed a limit of 312 orders per game (after Mariners great Edgar Martinez’s lifetime batting average of .312) so that everyone gets a chance to savor their buggy goodness at $4 a pop (hop?).

“Like with all of the local partners we bring into Safeco Field and our other venues, the goal is always to provide an authentic sampling of popular local cuisines. Poquitos is a Capitol Hill hot spot in Seattle, and their chapulines are actually a delicacy,” Paul Pettas, a spokesman for Safeco Field concessionaire Centerplate, said in a statement emailed to The Post. “We are thrilled to see so many people stepping outside their comfort zone and trying them out. They are pleasantly tasteful, and go great with a taco or margarita.”

“We’ve sold roughly 18,000 grasshoppers,” team spokeswoman Rebecca Hale told Rovell. “That’s more than the restaurant, Poquitos, sells in a year.”

As for the taste, I leave it to the Phoenix New Times to describe in all its glory:

“If it helps any, just close your eyes when eating these bugs, and you may be rewarded with a flavor you probably wouldn’t expect. Chapulines taste almost like salt and vinegar potato chips, but a bit wetter. There’s a satisfying crunch from the exoskeleton throughout, with a bit of tangy softness at the abdomen. And the entire chapulin is salty, tangy, and not at all what you would expect flavor-wise. The only downside are the twig-like back legs that you may end up picking out of your molars. Just close your eyes and get to popping.”

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