Friday, November 22, 2013

Gulping Down Grasshoppers in Huatulco


I believe in experiencing the culture of every place I visit. That's how you really connect with the essence of a location. So I was a little taken aback to discover that Huatulco's essence is buried in little, wiry, grasshopper legs. Located in Southern Mexico, along the coast of the state of Oaxaca, Huatulco pulses with Southern Mexican traditions. Munching grasshoppers or chapulines, is one of those traditions. I was hosted by Secrets Huatulco Resort and when an array of Oaxacan dishes was presented to me on my arrival, chapulines were the first ones. As you can see from the photo above, they are toasted and seasoned into a mound of spicy critter snacks.


Traditionally, chapulines are served with a variety of salsas, guacamole and totopos or tortilla chips or sprinkled on a taco.

I was lucky that my first servings were small ones that once covered with guac and salsa, I could forget that I was munching grasshoppers.  I know the closeup above looks like they're dancing on top of the chip but I didn't look at them before I stuffed them into my month. They weren't chewy or really crunchy.  They tasted like a savory, spiced snack, with a flavor a little like jerky.

When I spotted the big ones at a Mezcal tasting, I was glad that the wee ones were my first initiation. There was no way that I was crunching on a big ol' grasshopper, regardless of the quantities of  premium liquor supplied to wash away the memory.  


I saw chapulines for sale all over Huatulco, in beach shacks, in little stores and restaurants. I was glad that I had tried such a big part of Oaxacan culture but I was never tempted to try them again. Although I did buy a bag to bring home. You never know when you'll need a quick dose of spicy protein.....

15 comments:

Indrani said...

OMG! I can't imagine holding it leave alone eating it. :) Great pics. and info.

Fly Girl said...

Indrani, the little ones really look like crispy flakes or something and once you top it with salsa, you don't think about what you're eating at all.

Rachel Cotterill said...

Well, as a vegetarian it's not for me, but in principle I approve of trying the local delicacies :-)

Fly Girl said...

Rachel,
Technically, it's not meat so you could add to your protein intake!

TexWisGirl said...

hmmmm... not sure i'd 'enjoy' that tasting or not. :)

as for my woodpecker shots, i actually took those through my window. :)

Fly Girl said...

Tex, it's indeed a tricky prospect.

Ekua said...

I've eaten chapulines a few times in Oaxaca and was pleasantly surprised. Since they were fried to a crisp and flavored with chili, lime, and salt, they kind of just tasted like nuts. If they're broken apart enough, you can almost forget that you're eating bugs ;)

Fly Girl said...

Ekua,
I know, the seasoning is so good that you really don't think about what you're eating and the texture isn't bad. It's just looking at them that gets you..

A Cuban In London said...

Well, why not? And if they look as good as your photo shows, when, WHY NOT? :-)

Greetings from London.

Fly Girl said...

Cubano, I can think of a couple of reasons but I'm glad that I ignored them!

A Cuban In London said...

Tell you what, though. When the economic crisis was at its peak in 90s Cuba we used to have a saying that went like this: "As long as you marinate IT well with plenty of onions and garlic, you won't be able to tell the difference". :-) I won't go into what the "IT" was.

Greetings from London.

Fly Girl said...

Cubano, when you put it that way, you're right. Why not?

Raul @ilivetotravel) said...

You are very daring! Though I think masked with salsa and guac, I could give it a shot...

Fly Girl said...

Raul,
Masking them with guac and salsa is the key! I don't think I could eat them by themselves. Thanks for dropping by!

Andrew Graeme Gould said...

It's interesting how what turns off people from one culture is rationalised into being normal fare in another. I suppose this originally came down to a matter of survival.