South of Minneapolis, not far from the banks of the Minnesota River, we’re standing at the frontier of food, on the fringe of fine dining. Actually, we’re standing in a field full of clover and goldenrod and thousands—or tens of thousands—of grasshoppers. The insects are what we seek.
With me is Kiah Brasch, one of Minnesota’s few entomophagists, or people who knowingly, enthusiastically, eat insects.
“We go back and forth on what to call the practice,” Brasch says. “If you call it entomophagy, it sounds clinical and unapproachable. If you say edible insects, it sounds like they’re barely edible. It doesn’t sound delicious. So I’ve ended up using insect cuisine.”
What, then, to call people like Brasch? Insect cuisine eaters? Bug biters? So entomophagists it is.
We’re on land owned by a friend of hers. We arrived here early, while the air was cool and the grasshoppers were slow. We started in a stand of tall grasses that was full of fat, huge differential grasshoppers, one of Minnesota’s largest grasshopper species. They sat still as we picked them up and put them in our net. Soon, though, the sun came up and they got faster. When we reached for them, they would jump away or drop into the grass below and disappear.