Edible insects such as Nshonkonono (edible grasshoppers) have been consumed by humans for thousands of years, and Zambia is no exception.
The practice of consuming grasshoppers can be traced back to the traditional diets of Zambian tribes, where these insects were harvested in abundance during specific seasons.
Harvesting and Preparation
The Nshonkonono grasshoppers are typically harvested during the rainy season when they emerge in large numbers.
This period usually falls between December and March, providing a limited window for collecting these delectable creatures. Harvesting involves a meticulous process, often done by handpicking the grasshoppers
Once collected, the grasshoppers are meticulously cleaned to remove any dirt and wings. This can be a time-consuming task, requiring patience and attention to detail.
The cleaned insects are then sun-dried or roasted, which not only enhances their flavor but also preserves them for long-term storage.
Zambian edible grasshoppers, when prepared properly, offer a delightful taste and a crunchy texture.
They can be cooked by roasting on a dry pan without any cooking oil as they tend to release fat on their own. After dry roastiong on a pan for about 15 minutes, you can sprinkle some salt and they are ready to serve.
The roasted or fried Nshonkonono exude a nice flavor with a hint of smokiness, making them a savory snack that appeals to both locals and adventurous food enthusiasts.
In Zambia, they are often enjoyed as a standalone snack, accompanied by a cold beverage, or served along side nshima and other side side dishes.
Nshonkonono, the Zambian edible grasshoppers, offer a captivating journey into the culinary traditions and cultural significance.
With their rich history, unique taste, they have rightfully earned their place as a revered delicacy in Zambian cuisine and food culture.
So, why not try some nshonkonono next time you visit Zambia. Note that some people may be allergic to this food.