Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"They Actually Eat That:" Escamoles.

It is easy to understand where the idea for chocolate covered ants came from. Some ants probably get into your chocolate anyways; ants like food, which constitutes anything humans eat and then some. As I have said many times before, it is physically impossible to avoid eating bugs. Ants are one of the most common insects on the planet and are frequently seen around human living quarters. Why not eat them?

Here, you can barely tell.

Rarely, however, are ants considered cuisine. In this case, they are big, black and venomous to boot.

They Actually Eat That?! 

In Mexico, they harvest the eggs of ants belonging to the genus Liometopum. These ants are big, mean, and live on the roots of agave and maguey plants. Both of those plants are used to make different liquors, by the way (tequila and mezcal, respectively) so you have to cut them a little bit of slack for discovering the eggs of vicious black ants. Eating them is a whole other matter.

A chicken will get mad if you get too close to her eggs. Imagine what venomous, giant ants will do to you for approaching their babies. They have to get people (probably with money...) to approach the giant ants and steal their eggs. Fun job. [/sarcasm]

Why do they do this? Escamoles taste really, really good, apparently. The taste is described as being buttery and nutty with the consistency of cottage cheese. They are often served in tacos with guacamole. The eggs are valuable enough to be dubbed "insect caviar" and are only available seasonally.

To help remind you WHY this is dangerous.

Thank you, escamoles, for reminding me why I dislike Mexican food.

1 comment:

  1. So sad you cant appreciate mexican food, it is one of the tastiest and most varied food in the world and there are some gourmet mexican restaurants you should try. Regarding to escamoles, they're actually pretty tasty and expensive too, you should try them, one can never judge any type of food without giving it a try... I'm mexican and i've had the opportunity to travel all around the world trying all kind of food and mexican is not the only one to use insects as part of their cuisine, and trust me, in my opinion it is definitely in the top 3 of best cuisines in the world, i would ask you to come to mexico as a culinary route. Mexican food sold in US is not really mexican food lol, well at least not the one you can buy in fast food establishments. Greetings from Mexico.