In the same way Aztecs diets were rich in grubs, grasshoppers and other edible invertebrates, bugs have lately crawled onto the menus of some restaurants with a huge resurgence in gourmet gastronomy.
High-end restaurants mash-up traditional dishes with what is described as a promising source of sustainable protein and one of the most delicacy item in Mexico City restaurants.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) these tiny comestibles are very high in protein and contain loads of calcium, magnesium and zinc, especially compared to meats such as beef and pork. They help to reduce body fat and improve metabolism by diminishing sugar and cholesterol levels faster.
And although they are mostly harvested from nature because they are difficult to grow in captivity, farming is less damaging to the climate than the meat industries because significantly fewer greenhouse gases are produced, production is less resource-intensive, and less land is required.
Now that we have briefly stated nutritional and environmental reasons to include bugs in our diets, let’s talk about taste and flavour in Mexican cuisine.
The ubiquitous and widely affordable chapulines – grasshoppers or crickets –are a classic cantina snack and eaten as appetizers: toasted crickets seasoned with salt and a bit of lemon, or typically sauteed in salt and garlic, rolled in tacos, sprinkled on guacamole as a garnish or gobbled by the handful.
But not only as a bar snack. You can’t have a proper meal without some well-deserved dessert. Can you?
So in the past years, it’s become quite common to add these little fellows to the art of sweeties. One of the most popular chapulin sweets is those coated in dark chocolate and other spices, giving a very peculiar and local flavour to both these prehispanic ingredients.
We know that it might be a bit intimidating and scary to actually see the crickets on your plate, but it is said that no one has tried them and hated them. So we dare you to challenge yourself with new experiences, try them and then pick a side on this matter.
They’re really one of Mexico’s best culinary treasures.
Be our guest to expand your horizons, take your enjoyment of meals to a new level and develop a fine palate for gourmet food.
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