Yes its time again to present another Finnish entopreneur and their products! This time it’s Savonia Grasshopper Products Oy. Don’t be fooled by the company name, like many of its Finnish competitors Savonia Grasshopper works with house crickets (Acheta domesticus) not grasshoppers.
And these are special crickets, all bred from a population of crickets that was pestering a greenhouse growing tomatoes.
– When it became legal to sell insects as food in Finland, crickets were handpicked from the greenhouse to start the breeding population. So we can safely say that our crickets are 100 % Finnish, Mervi Varis project assistant at Savonia tells me.
She also claims that the farm, in the town Tervo in Northen Savonia (the province), is one of the biggest in Finland:
–Total area of the farm is about 700 m2 and about 300 m2 is used for actual breeding. The farm is newly built for cricket breeding and processing of products. We use the excess heat from the greenhouse (now converted to grow strawberries) in our farm.
In February they launched their products. And a week ago Mervi Varis was nice and sent me a box with their whole range of products to try.
Savonia Grasshopper offers three different flavours of roasted crickets and one quite unique product: herb flavoured rye crisp containing cricket flour. Rye bread is a really important part of Finnish Food culture. So important that McDonalds in Finland serves a burger with a rye bread bun (the Ruis Feast, which I think is a follow up to the McRuis).
In this case the rye bread contains 10 percent cricket powder, and it’s really hard to tell if you can taste the crickets. Like all Finnish rye bread it got its slightly sour taste and in this case the crickets also compete with spices and garlic. As I am a rye bread fan I love it, especially with some kind of spread, and it makes a nice snack with a beer or a glass of wine. 4.90 euro for 100 grams is okay for a product that you won’t consume every day. And I think this would be a perfect product for gift shops for tourists: Finnish ryebread crisps with Finnish crickets!
But if I could only choose one of the products that Savonia Grasshopper offers it would be one of the bags with roasted crickets. I like them all.
The natural roasted crickets are beautiful. Often when I receive crickets in bags from for instance the Netherlands or Thailand half the packet contains dry crickets that have lost legs or wings, or broken in two. Often the crickets have a slight rancid smell due to lying in a bag for a bit too long. The crickets I received from Savonia Grasshopper are really fresh. You can especially taste this when eating the roasted salted ones. They almost taste like peanuts. Peanuts with 60 percent protein.
Both the “Hot hoppers” and “Sweet hoppers” are made with crickets that are a bit smaller in size then the roasted crickets. Savonia Grasshopper marinates the crickets in rape seed oil with the spices and then roasts them. This gives them a really interesting taste profile. Crispy, crunchy and tasty. The hot hoppers have a nice chili sting, and the sweet hoppers get their sweetness from honey.
Combining the sweet hoppers with vanilla icecream makes a great dessert.
Great quality -hefty price
7.50 euros is a pretty hefty price for 40 grams of crickets. But you get good quality, and even if Savonias farm might be the biggest in Finland it is still pretty small scale producing around 200 kilos per months. (Edited: I have changed 20 to 200 kilos, which is the correct amount. (I thought 20 kilos sounded really small…))
Mervi Vari says that they already have the capacity to double this rate. And if they translate their webshop to English, get a good deal for international shipping they might have to do that. At least they deserve a lot of customers.
You find Savonia Grasshoppers website here: sirkkoja.fi
At the moment only selling in Finland and the website is in Finnish. A translated version might be launched this spring or early summer.
UPDATE January 2020: Unfortunately Savonia Grasshoppers have stopped producing their crickets :(
Regarding this review:
This is not a payed post. The only bribe I got was the test products :)
If you have products that you want tested by Bug Burger, please contact me.
But beware: if I don’t like the product I will say so :)
Read an earlier review: Entis Bugbites