San Antonio Etlatongo, a village in Oaxaca state, Mexico
This page contains accounts of some of the insects eaten in San Antonio Etlatongo, Noxichtlan, Oaxaca, Mexico.
The people in this small village are Mixteca in origin, but Spanish is the spoken language. Agriculture is the main source of income, and most (all?) home owners grow produce for their own consumption. Most houses also have some sheep and chickens - again both for income and for consumption. There is a primary school in walking distance, but no secondary school.
Ask people here about edible insects, and they’ll tell you about chapulines. Chaplulines are grasshoppers, mostly Sphenarium purpurascens, and they can be collected form the fields anytime from July to November. The picture here shows chapulines in July, when they are very small. But apparently the tastiest are those that have just shed their final molt to become adults, in early November - when they are at their largest, but their skin is paper thin. They are washed and dry-fried with garlic, salt and lemon - and sometimes some chile.
Another insect that’s fairly easy to harvest in the region is the gusano blanco - the white worm. These are found living inside small tibiche cactuses, and they are delicious fried (no oil needed) with just a little salt. A perfect accompaniment to some flor de jamaica infused mezcal.
Tiocondudi (Honey ants!)
And this one is indescribably good. Genuinely indescribable, because no two taste alike. It’s not easy to find these ants - their nests are deep in dusty, rocky earth that’s hard to shift - but once uncovered, they’re a feast. Bulbous sacs of pure ‘honey’ hang from their abdomens, which pop in your mouth and release a shot of sweetness, a sweetness like nothing else, though if we’re going for culinary terms - Tangy, floral, citrusy.. Some resemble wild honey. But others are more like a dessert wine!