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Curveballs and Chapulines: Seattle’s Snack Bugs Me

Funny Meme

Why choose a classic ballpark frank or buttery popcorn, when instead you can feel the savory crunch of a seasoned chapuline between your teeth? Iconic duo “Peanuts and Cracker Jacks” apparently is too old fashioned for the trendy Pacific Northwest. At the 2023 MLB All-Star Game, the host city of Seattle stepped up to the plate to serve something a little more…exotic. The star player? Grasshoppers.

Grasshopper grub at T-Mobile Park is a unique choice, to put it charitably. Here in Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park a few years back, my curiosity gave way to gluttony via the sinfully excessive novelty of indulging in a cheeseburger between two donuts forming the bun.  But Seattle Mariners fans have mutinied against all culinary common sense in a ballpark context. Consuming cooked chapulines, or as they’re commonly called, grasshoppers, seems as common as cotton candy. Nobody ordering nachos next door even balks upon hearing their fellow fans requesting this menu item out of left field.

Evidently the baseball fans of Seattle love their local delicacy, because it keeps coming back year after year since the snack made its major league debut in 2017. Although I’m a trained economist, I never would’ve guessed that Adam Smith’s invisible hand would someday reach into a cup of edible insects from the concessions stand. Nonetheless T-Mobile Park supplies Seattle’s demand. Is there a loyalty punch card to get your 10th grasshopper free?

Baseball fans across this land boldly demand answers from Mariners fans. My sister recently spent two weeks in the states of Washington and Oregon with her best friend. How am I supposed to tell her that I need to send her back so she can ask those people why? As Michael Scott from “The Office” famously turned to Toby in bewildered exasperation, “Why are you the way that you are?!?”

Let’s not sugarcoat this y’all. Grown adults actively decide they want to live this way. We’re talking about edible insects. And no, Seattle baseball fans behave not in a survivalist, “I’m stuck on a desert island” kind of way. Rather, Seattle baseball fans actually behave in a “pass me another handful of delicious bugs” kind of way.

Seattle, in the spirit of your beloved Dr. Frasier Crane, I’m listening or at least doing my best to try. But do you people realize how bizarrely bonkers you sound to us normal baseball fans whenever you saunter over to the concessions stand and order bugs to eat during a baseball game?!?

How do grasshoppers improve the fan experience of watching a live game in person at the ballpark? What’s wrong where you find hotdogs, soft pretzels, and ice cream insufficient?

I distinctly remember, when I was a child, observing specific fans who were protesting against Barry Bonds, notorious for his cheating via drug abuse. These protestors displayed a snarky sign featuring the zinger, “Babe Ruth did it on hotdogs and beer.” Someday, if Julio Rodriguez, one of my favorite current young stars, earns a place in the record books, will we look back and recount the legend where “Julio Rodriguez did it on seasoned grasshoppers” for our grandchildren?

Seattle baseball fans, you’ve made me simultaneously mystified as well as intrigued. I salute your audacious creativity. I don’t really understand or appreciate your love for ballpark bug snacks, but I begrudgingly respect your gastronomical gusto. Play ball, and pass each other the grasshoppers.

Jeremy Cerone is a lifelong baseball fan. As a native Philadelphian, he was born and raised as a Phillies fan. He played second base as a kid, even before Chase Utley made it cool. Later, in college, he adopted the Yankees as his American League team. The Phillies remain securely as his first love in baseball. Sports journalism and commentary have fascinated him since childhood. If Mars fielded a baseball team and played the Atlanta Braves, Jeremy would openly cheer for the Martians.

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