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By Eric Barigye

Welcome back to our weekly blog which explores a particular aspect of Ugandan life, to learn more about the people and place that plays host to our Adventure Like No Other.

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Each week, Eric will be helping us to explore all things Uganda!

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This week we will be learning how to make our very own Grasshopper Pizza from Marathon friends, Plot 99 – a local restaurant and coffee house based in Masaka. We are currently in Grasshopper Season (November – December) and the flying insects are a very popular snack for many in Masaka.

Mr. Masereka Isaac, the chef at Plot 99, will be telling us how he infuses this local delicacy into one of the world’s most popular foods. He has been a chef since he was 21 years old and 7 years on he is still very much growing his craft. Inspired to go into the kitchen by his Uncle Edison, also a Chef, Isaac knew what he wanted to do right after college and went to catering school to achieve his 2-year course. After that he was referred to Plot 99 by his friend who worked there and he was taken on.

Like a good chef, it wasn’t his first time hearing the words “Grasshopper Pizza” when his boss brought him the idea. Isaac had learned of the concept when listening to a radio show about a food festival in the capital city, Kampala. He knew he could pull it off.

We start with the dough which includes warm water, olive oil, yeast, salt, sugar and white flour. After the dough is kneaded, he keeps it in a warm place for about an hour, when it will raise to give him the signal to proceed.

Meanwhile, he makes the sauce. He starts with frying the onions, adds garlic and finally tomatoes to make a paste. He gives the sauce a few moments to cool off before pouring it in a blender to make it nice and thin. 

He then takes out his fresh grasshoppers. On a frying pan he fries them for about 10-15 minutes. The natural fats and flavour mean he doesn’t need to add anything to them except some onions near the end. 

When the risen dough is ready, he balls it up before rolling it into the big circle we all recognise. He puts that on the baking tray, adds and spreads the paste on top of the dough, then sprinkles the grasshoppers all around the surface and tops it all off with cheese. It takes less than 5 minutes with the cooking stove they have at Plot 99, but if you have an electric oven at home it takes about fifteen minutes.

So 5 minutes later at Plot 99, Isaac’s delicacy is ready to serve!

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