The crickets chirp before they are thrown into a pan, sauteed in vegetable oil and turned into crispy, crunchy snacks. They are one of the three toppings offered on crackers as hors d'oeuvres; a jam made from ants and rice grasshoppers boiled in a sweet soy sauce complete the insect triumvirate.

The orders keep coming. Up next are mealworms, which slightly begin to resemble torchietti pasta as their wiggling weakens the longer they remain in the pan.

"I think we'll have about 100 participants today," entomophagist Shoichi Uchiyama says.