It started on Saturday, when my daughter, who is in in Switzerland, told me that at a local music festival there, a booth in the food court offered roasted crickets. (Other options at the stand included fried larvae, but Elizabeth sensibly chose cotton candy.)
Then, on Monday, my friend Abby told me that there was a cricket duo in her bedroom, lodged in a wall unit, driving her insane. They chirped every thirty minutes or so, disturbing her sleep, but she’d been unable to find, let alone exterminate them.
What happened next was that, yesterday, I bought an iPhone, which, it turns out, has a “Crickets” ring tone option. (I didn’t dare install it: if Abby hears that ring she’ll snap spray the phone with Raid.)
Today, in another stunning coincidence, while I was surfing some random web site, I came across a recipe for roasting crickets.
What is going on? Is it Cricket Awareness Week? What other cricket issues will arise before week’s end? Or are the bugs a harbinger of some imminent disaster, a plague or infestation? Was today’s earthquake in Chino Hills related somehow to subversive cricket activity?
It makes you think.
Anyway, I thought I’d share with you the recipe for roasting the little buggers, just in case there is an infestation and grocery stores are closed. (This recipe is also handy if your in-laws are coming for dinner and you want to discourage future visits.) This is truly almost exactly the way the recipe was presented online.
100 fresh crickets (give or take)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Dump the crickets into a bowl and drizzle olive oil over them. Stir them around so they get well coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Spread the crickets on a baking sheet and pop them into the oven. (My guess is you have to do this really fast so they don’t hop away, lodge themselves in your wall unit and drive you crazy chirping at three a.m.)
They will leap about in the oven for about twenty minutes (no doubt sending a few curses in your direction) and then drop dead. (This isn’t exactly how she said it online but it’s close, I swear.)
Give them a few more minutes (I guess just to make sure they are really, truly, deeply dead) and then take them out and eat them.
Variations: Try sprinkling them with some cumin or chili powder, to give them a little extra kick. A dash of parmesan cheese wouldn’t hurt either.