After surprisingly selling out of grasshoppers at a concession stand for the first three games of the season, the Seattle Mariners have called in an emergency order so that they last throughout this weekend. The team is also imposing a per-game order limit for the rest of the season.
Mariners spokeswoman Rebecca Hale told ESPN that the team sold 901 orders of the insects over the first three home games. The grasshoppers are toasted in a chili lime salt and come in a four-ounce cup for $4.
“We’ve sold roughly 18,000 grasshoppers,” Hale said. “That’s more than the restaurant [that runs the stand], Poquitos, sells in a year.”
Poquitos is one of the new concession stands at Safeco Field this season as a part of the Mariners’ and concessionaire Centerplate’s strategy to add more of a local flair.
Hale said the grasshoppers, which are an appetizer sold at Poquitos, were added to the ballpark menu as a novelty, but the team didn’t expect them to be that popular.
That all changed when the item, known in Mexico as chapulines, received national attention.
Starting with Friday night’s game, the Mariners will limit sales to 312 orders per game in honor of the team’s longtime great Edgar Martinez‘s career batting average (.312), Hale said.
Since the success of the grasshoppers, Centerplate has been getting calls from suppliers asking whether the Mariners are open to selling crickets and other popular insects that are considered edible.
“We don’t have plans to expand that portion of the menu,” Hale said.