22 JULY 1995, Page 22

Cookery corner

Sir: I am happy to learn that locusts are becoming fashionable food at long last (Food, 24 June) and that Jennifer Paterson would rather like to taste them. She may care to try, as I tried nearly 30 years ago, a receipt which certainly works with Schisto- cerca gregaria. At the material time, I was kicking my heels in Moshi, waiting for my walking companions, when I met a Chagga boy who was keen to show me his village. It turned out to be no more than a solitary hamlet of three or four huts, but it was deep in the bush, far enough from Moshi to encourage me to accept an invitation for dinner, bed and breakfast. Of these offer- ings only the first proved to be memorable.

For a good kebab of locusts, an open fire is essential. Not more than half-a-dozen of the plump insects should be speared (on the end of a rusty length of wire) at a time. They should be carefully singed to bring out the nutty flavour. One must, at all costs, avoid boiling the fat body to the point of bursting. A sauce should be prepared, meantime (best on the lid of an empty oil- drum) by pouring tablespoonfuls of wild honey on a few white termites (they contain formic acid which adds a certain piquancy to the honey) and heating the mixture to the point when it flows freely. The kebab is then deftly dipped in the honey sauce and flamed for a few more seconds until crisped.

To wash it all down, I would recommend a fresh sparkling young pomba (a day-old banana beer), though from what I remem- ber, anything in excess of a couple of pints puts you off your breakfast on the following morning.

L Torday

Greenrow, Matterdale, Cumbria