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Cricket Awareness Week

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.

ROASTED CRICKETS

Ingredients:
100 fresh crickets (give or take)
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:

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.

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8 Responses to “Cricket Awareness Week”

  1. arlene Says:

    ah. you missed the masses who must buy crickets twice a week to feed reptiles and tarantulas. don’t keep too many at a time – they are very stinky and cannibalistic. not much to recommend them.

    how about recipes for giant mealworms?

  2. Jessica Harper Says:

    To which pet do you feed mealworms? or are they the pets? In which case, what do you feed them?

  3. Sarah Says:

    I just read an article in the New Yorker yesterday about crickets and shopping in Shanghai!:

    “There are markets for everything in Shanghai, including crickets. These come in varieties meant for competitive fighting (gambling is illegal in mainland China, but nobody tattles) and for keeping as pets, but probably not for sneaking through customs (405 Xizang Road; $1.45 to $14.50 per bug, but some fetch more than $1,000).”

  4. Suzanne! Says:

    Oh fer cryin out loud; where’s the humanity?? LIVE crickets in the oven? Can’t we knock em out first, with perhaps a little shot of schnapps or a tiny, cricket-sized hankey smothered in chloroform?? How bout a little ingenuity people??
    BTW, I’d like to suggest skewering the little buggers to keep em in their place and laying them on the bbq—-at least that way if they wiggle off the stick, they return to the great outdoors, where they belong.

  5. Suzanne! Says:

    Oh! And I almost forgot, during my nightly trip to the toilet, I happened to look into said bowl and saw, to my horror, a GIANT cricket! I’m telling you people, this sucker was B-I-G! Fortunately for me, it was also d-e-a-d.

  6. Jennifer Says:

    “This recipe is also handy if your in-laws are coming for dinner and you want to discourage future visits”. Hahahahaa!!! Love it love it love it! : )

  7. Jessica Harper Says:

    Ha! Suzanne, I can just see you skewering 100 crickets! I like the idea of getting them drunk…then we eat them and get drunk too! and thank goodness the Toilet Cricket was dead and didn’t make a leap skyward after you were comforably seated! your scream would’ve awakened all of Encino!

    SARAH: which New Yorker? I’ve gotta read it!
    The crickets are closing in, I’m telling you!

  8. Bharat Says:

    Your blog on crickets reminds me of a truly wonderful and mysterious phenomenon. It is Extra Sensory Perception. Even without our conscious mind being aware, there are certain things which happen as per the destined plan. Our sub-conscious knows it, but still yet, we have not been able to fully comprehend the subconscious and hence we are always in darkness. I will share one anecdote with you. One day I was sitting with a colleague and suddenly his phone started ringing. That moment, I had a sudden thought that the phone must be about sudden demise of a common friend. My friend lifted receiver, talked thereon and then placing the receiver back, told me that that common friend is dead. I was amazed and flabbergasted. I remember words of some great writer that the “Randomness is only the appearance. The reality is synchronicity. In other words, there are no accidents. Good Luck in this frame work is defined as opportunity meeting preparedness.”

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