Nsenene: Grasshoppers That are a Ugandan Delicacy

Nsenene Grasshoppers

There are several species of grasshoppers. In Uganda, there are grasshoppers that are locally known as “Nsenene,” in Luganda language that form a great delicacy. This food was first taken by the Baganda, the dominant tribe in the Central Region. Today Nsenene is a great delicacy even to the non Baganda.

They are a delicacy among many people in this East African country and when the season comes of age, this will be the most selling food on the Ugandan market.


They are bush crickets and many Uganda wait for their season especially in the rainy months. Nsenene- Grasshoppers are an excellent source of protein and scientist predict that we will all be eating insects in one form or another in the future!

Every day during the rainy season you will find roadside vendors with plastic tubs selling their harvest. The grasshoppers, when fried, turn from green to golden brown and give off an earthy aroma beloved by enthusiasts.

Grasshopper hunting has become a commercial activity in Uganda. Some rig bright lamps to attract the insects, which then crash into strategically placed sheets and slide into barrels where they are trapped overnight especially in places around Masaka and Nateete.

To prepare them, the wings, legs and antennae are plucked off while the insects are still alive. There is no slaughtering process, just pull the wings and feet using charcoals dust so that your fingers do not become oily, then fry them up and the feast is about to begin.

Cooked grasshoppers have high amounts of protein and fat, as well as significant amounts of dietary fibre.

Some people fry the insects with oil, onions and garlic, creating a distinctive scent that can be smelled meters away. Motorists park their vehicles and wait to be served the delicacy during the season.Even Ugandans abroad do make orders from Ugandans such that  the season does not go without them tasting the delicacy.

Ugandans in the central region love their Nsenene because it is a part of culture and tradition. There are also Ugandans that belong to the Nsenene clan and these plus their children are not supposed to eat the grasshoppers nor are they supposed to marry from a grasshopper clan. Some tribes in the westnile prohibit newly married women from eating grasshoppers for reasons best known to them.

I have tasted the grasshoppers myself but indeed are a delicacy when well prepared. The taste is just more than chicken! I really love the grasshoppers.


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