Slice of hopperoni: Las Vegas pizzeria serves up grasshopper pie after giant swarm

Evel Pie is bringing new meaning to "pizza and wings."

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By Doha Madani

A Las Vegas pizzeria is daring its customers to try a wild new menu item inspired by the massive swarm of grasshoppers that took over the Nevada valley.

Evel Pie, an eatery inspired by famed daredevil Evel Knievel, has topped its latest pizza with lime and garlic roasted grasshoppers. The Canyon Hopper also features chorizo, goat cheese, caramelized onions and arugula, according to a post on the restaurant's Facebook Tuesday evening.

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"Sure it sounds nasty but this pizza is damn good! It surprised us," the post assured. "We dare you to try it!"

Cue jokes about locally sourced and organic ingredients.

For the last week, the grasshopper swarm has been so thick in the Las Vegas Valley at times that the National Weather Service warned motorists it could impact visibility on area roads.

State entomologists said the grasshopper population was likely nourished by the Southwest's relatively wet winter and spring. The swarms have been so prominent that the weather service said that they were likely showing up on weather radar.

The state's entomologist, Jeff Knight, told Nevada Public Radio that the insects grew in large numbers because of a wet winter and spring, but were drawn to the city for a similar reason as many tourists.

“They’re basically coming into the city because they’re attracted to the lights of the city, particularly the ones that have a higher ultraviolet spectrum,” Knight said.

Branden Powers, a managing partner at Evel Pie, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the pie was created by experimenting with fried grasshoppers.

“That’s kind of the spirit of Evel Knievel,” he says of attempting to sell insect-topped pizza. “And the spirit of Evel Pie is just to be always be a daredevil with your taste buds. Take chances. Take risks.”