The culinary delicacies from Latin America are numerous and diverse: Empadanas, beef parilla, fish nuggets… And among all of these recipes, you’ll find, as surprising as it may sound, edible insects prepared as snacks and appetizers.
Already used long before Christophe Colomb arrival, these traditional recipes were widespread. Here are some famous recipes of edible insects eaten in Latin America. From Mexico to Colombia and Ecuador, fasten your seatbelt!
Ants, a spicy edible insect
Atta ants are known for the damage they can cause by cutting leaves into small pieces with their strong claws. It is maybe less obvious but they are also considered as delicacies. Once the legs are taken off, the ants are placed in salt water, then boiled and eaten as delicacies.
Edible insects can also be eaten as caviar. Reputed as a delicacy, ants have been prepared by people living in the rural area for centuries in Brazil.
Ants larvae also called escamoles are collected in the agave plant’s root. This plant is used to produce tequila and mezcal. Escamoles can be eaten in burritos, in soup or with garlic sauce. Sometimes, they can be eaten as appetizers simply with a pepper sauce and green tomatoes.
Ahuahutle, the Mexican caviar
Giant waterbugs live in the Mexico valley. Their eggs have been highly sought for millennia and were of the fire divinity Xiuhtecutli, god of origin, time and fire. They are eaten as any meat, wrapped in tortillas! In the rest of the country, this edible insect is served in restaurants next to burgers.
Mezcal, a renowned drink with edible insects!
The mezcal is a famous drink made out of agave in which producers add the larva of an insect: A live larva living in the plant. This is one of the most popular preparations with insects. For some people it is only marketing, in reality, the larva is used as a proof: this is pure mezcal.
Often, mezcal is served with another insect: the famous chapulines from Mexico served in a wheat tortilla with guacamole.