Grass-Whoppers: Insect Burger Patties Hit NYC Restaurant Menu

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.

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"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.

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"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."

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