Well, I’m an adventurous eater, and figure I should try anything once. So when I found the innocently named “Tortillas Azteca” on the menu and looked up the ingredients (none of which I recognized) in the handily provided translation guide, I decided I should give it a shot.
It’s rare enough that a menu in Spanish has anything I’m not able to translate, but ant larvae, caterpillars, and grasshoppers are definitely among them. These were or are all considered high-protein delicacies in various parts of Mexico at various points in history, much like in Africa.
In this dish, each of these three items is provided in its own little bowl, accompanied by dried oregano, onions, a spicy brown sauce, and small but very thick corn tortillas, from which you assemble your choice of fillings. I was a little concerned that the couple sitting next to me would want to move once they saw what I was eating, but thankfully they turned out to be curious and pleasant dinner companions.
The dish turned out to be a mixed experience. The ant larvae were not recognizable as such, and were crunchy, round, and tasty. The grasshoppers were predictably spiky, very crunchy, and spicily prepared, but were surprisingly quite good in the chewy, thick corn tortillas. The caterpillars, well. I ate just enough of them to determine that they were edible, but they had nothing particular to recommend them in terms of flavor or texture, and were much too obvious in appearance!
In any case, I enjoyed the strange experience, and am considering it payback karma for all the bugs that continually bite me no matter where I am. I found the thick corn tortillas very filling, especially after salad and bread, so was chagrined that I couldn’t eat more of it (even though I would have) – because I’m sure the waiter though it was just too weird for me :) Macho eating at its best, LOL.
Not much else to say at the moment except that I had a very nice massage this morning – one of the best I’ve ever had, which I tried to get in before it got really hot. Now I am indulging in an iced latte and getting ready to wash my clothes. Sadly, the birding guides that I had hoped to use appear to have folded or moved on, so I’ll have to find another option for getting out to the nature reserve later in the week (hopefully on a day with some cloud cover)!