Last month Anthony Maillard launched his book, The Killing of the Flamenco Dancer, at The Big Black Box on Murray Street, Woodbrook.
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Fried Madagascar Cockroach, anyone?
We say, “The early bird gets the worm”—or if you like to sleep late you might rationalise that the early worm is eaten by the bird. But in Madagascar the saying is: “Comment pourriez-vous attraper les sauterelle pondeuses et faire la grasse matinée en meme temps?” (“One needs to wake up early in the morning to catch grasshoppers.”)
The difference in the sayings between who-eats-what is indicative of dissimilar food cultures. In western and Caribbean food culture insects are considered yucky and purely food for animals, or other insects. They definitely don’t belong on a plate. In many non-western cultures insects are an important source of nutrition—so much so that around the world two billion people supplement their diet with insect protein.
In case you’re wondering why grasshoppers are best caught in the morning, it is because they are coldblooded. They depend on energy from the sun to become active. And become active they certainly do. Some species of grasshopper can jump over 100 feet. Considering the human long-jump record is a measly 29 feet four and a quarter inches, grasshopper-catchers are well advised to rise before the sun does.