Yesterday, we took a collective look at this here photo, allegedly of a grasshoppper having just been extricated from a Mangia lunch wrap. It seems easy to believe, in this age of rats in our dining rooms and gloves in our salads, that such a thing is somewhere between possible and predictable. And yet, because no one likes to think about the game of eater's roulette we all play, everyday, in NY, we denied. We put it out to the Eater collective: Can this photo possibly be real?
Here now, selected answers from you, which indicate, overwhelmingly, that the photo is, indeed, authentic.
· "This isn't as scary as the LIVE 6 inch long praying mantis I found in the salad bar at a defunct Manhattan steak house years ago."
· It's possible for the grasshopper to live. I've found small ones in cases of lettuce before (this was at a sports bar in TriBeCa a while back) -- they tend to be relatively "crush-proof." Having said that, I think it's fairly possible to get it into a wrap, if the person making it wasn't paying a whole lot of attention. Grasshoppers can live in a variety of climates (according to wikipedia.org); they've got pictures of them from all over the world (thus answering the question about climate affecting the life/death of the grasshopper)."
· "Having actually been in the kitchen at Mangia I would advise ALL who go to any of them they are risking their lives. How this place has not been shut down is beyond me. It is absolutely filthy."
· "It turns out the the source of the grasshopper story is the sister of my close friend and colleague, and it is definitely real."
· "It was real, and he wasn't jumping because his hind legs were, well, eaten."
· "Hoppers happen too. It's easy for a bug to get mixed into greens, especially when something like this is assembled quickly. (Hopper and lettuce appear to be the same hue of green.) Hey, it's extra protein."
· "Is a live grasshopper in your food...better than pesticides?"
· "I once found a barely live, but still moving, grasshopper in a head of swiss chard I was cleaning for service, so I find the Mangia story completely believable!"
· Dirt Alert: Grasshopper Found in Mangia Wrap? (You Decide! Edition) [~E~]