A popular item on the menu in some parts of Mexico are grasshoppers – known as chapulines…
Below, a woman selling toasted grasshoppers:
After the grasshoppers have been collected, they are thoroughly cleaned and washed. They are then toasted or fried on a comal (clay cooking surface) with lime, garlic and salt. Sometimes the grasshopers are also toasted with chili.
Once prepared, the cooked grasshoppers are eaten as a snack like popcorn, crunching them one by one, or by putting them on something like a tostada or in a taco with some guacamole.
Chapulines are most widely consumed is Oaxaca and the areas surrounding Mexico City, such as Tepoztlán, Cuernavaca and Puebla:
Grasshopper vendors headed home after a long day:
In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I did not try the chapulines. However, I have paid my dues with food items such as raw river beetles in India or roasted tarantula in China.
Foodies tend to take themselves awfully seriously when it comes to sampling new foods and “authentic” local cuisines. I wonder how many of them would maintain their snobbery in the face of a plateful of grasshoppers?