Saturday, March 2, 2024

Fireflies, grasshoppers among fare at upcoming edible insects fest

Beetles, crickets, winged ants and other bugs may not be your idea of tasty snacks but experts say they could stave off an impending world food crisis. A community garden in Mexico City will host a festival to celebrate that very notion.

According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), overpopulation, water scarcity and deforestation are driving the world toward a global crisis and insects may be the only way out.

Although for many in the western world entomophagy — the practice of eating insects — is a stomach-churning idea, indigenous people in Mexico have included bugs in their culinary traditions for millennia. Most species are very high in protein as well as fatty acids and vitamins A, D and E.

Those who need to catch up will find the perfect introduction to the practice at the 2020 Festival of Edible Insects at Huerto Roma Verde, a community garden in Mexico City’s trendy Roma Sur neighborhood.

Chefs at the event will offer a wide variety of recipes inspired by pre-Hispanic kitchens, using such creepy-crawly ingredients as fireflies, worms, grasshoppers, scorpions, ant eggs, stinkbugs, tarantulas and more.

They will be served up in tacos, gorditas, sopes, tlayudas, and other tortilla-based Mexican favorites, and even in drinks like chocolate and pulque, a fermented drink made from the sap of the agave plant.

Don’t worry if you have no idea what to order. Chefs will be there to help offer suggestions like tlayudas (oversized quesadillas from Oaxaca) made with beetles called copoaches, scorpion tacos, salsas made with flying ants called chicatanas and fritters called buñuelos made with ground-up grasshoppers.

Other don’t-miss dishes include snail ceviche, spider tacos, gorditas made with agave worms, ant eggs called escamoles flavored with a piquant herb called epazote and, of course, chapulines, or fried grasshoppers.

The festival will be held at Huerto Roma Verde on March 13-15 from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. each day. Admission is just 10 pesos (US $0.50).

Source: MX City Guía Insider (sp)

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