While most Americans are focused on turkey, one New York City restaurant is making a bid for the spotlight with another protein less common during Thanksgiving week: insects.
Restaurant Antojeria La Popular in downtown Manhattan has debuted the "Grass-Whopper," which is exactly what it sounds like.
A burger patty made from a combination of crickets and queso Chihuahua--a mild cheese made from cow's milk--is seasoned and cooked on the griddle, then topped with chipotle-mayo, onion, romaine lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, and stuffed inside of a whole-wheat mini pita bread. A trio of three 2-inch sliders will set you back $14.25.
"It's an acquired taste so we are serving it as a slider," said Marco Shalma, director of operations at Antojeria La Popular, who added that the patty is a combination of ground crickets and whole exoskeletons for texture and crunch.
The burgers first made an appearance at the People's United Nations event over the weekend as a collaboration between the restaurant and artist Pedro Reyes. The dish was meant to address a growing dialogue about harvesting insects for feeding communities around the world, Shalma said.
"They give relevancy to the issue of finding new proteins to sustain the next generation," said Shalma. "And it was a huge success at the event. They are very tasty, combining the idea of a traditional American burger with some Mexican flair."