The Mariners' toasted grasshoppers are so popular they're actually running out

Big League Stew

In the lead-up to opening day just a few weeks ago, the biggest news was all the new ballpark food offerings. The Texas Rangers had concocted a Texas Snowball, which is a ball of brisket deep fried in funnel cake batter and coated in powdered sugar. The Cincinnati Reds are offering a chicken dish drizzled with cherry sauce.

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But no one cares about those food items anymore. Not since the Seattle Mariners introduced their toasted grasshoppers. Sold by the bowl at a Mexican stand at Safeco Field called Poquitos, the grasshoppers are called chapulines. They’re toasted and sprinkled with a chili-lime salt. And they are wildly popular.

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For three straight nights, fans at Safeco Field ate every single grasshopper that Poquitos had to offer. And every single grasshopper comes to a total of more than 18,000 grasshoppers. A Mariners spokesperson told ESPN’s Darren Rovell “that’s more than the restaurant [that runs the stand], Poquitos, sells in a year.”

A close-up of the Mariners' toasted grasshoppers. (Twitter/@JoyceKehoe)
A close-up of the Mariners' toasted grasshoppers. (Twitter/@JoyceKehoe)

The popularity of the grasshoppers is entirely unexpected. When the addition of chapulines was announced on April 7, Rovell snagged this quote from a Mariners spokesperson:

“We don’t expect to sell a lot of them, but it’s a fun thing to offer and it’s an authentic,” Mariners spokesperson Rebecca Hale said.

This is one of those “it’s good to be wrong” situations. But this unexpected popularity has created a problem: they’re running out of grasshoppers. Rovell said that the Mariners had to call in an emergency order of grasshoppers so they could continue serving them through the weekend. (Who exactly do you call for an emergency order of grasshoppers? And what does that emergency grasshopper call sound like? Inquiring minds want to know.)

So to make sure they always have enough grasshoppers, the Mariners are imposing a limit on per-night orders of chapulines. And they couldn’t resist picking a number with some special significance.

That’s a classy grasshopper move, Mariners. Now all we need is a few pictures of Edgar Martinez actually eating them.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on twitter! Follow @lizroscher

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