by Luis Mario Vargas
Our enourmously rich tradition as Mexicans, include a pleasure that is not shared by everyone, but definitely, every single one should try at least once in their lives. I am talking about eating chapulines (little crickets), maguey worms, ant eggs nd many other insects that form part of gastronomic culture of Mexico since time immemorial. Not in vane, this tradition has survived until our days. One thing that I will try by writting this article, is to convince you, in case you hadn’t decide to do it, to taste these delicious, yet exotic saucers, that many times are classified as “disgusting”. They are not disgusting at all, but you will only be able to prove me wrong or right, by trying by yourself any of these insects.
That been said, I present to you, a list of the best places in Mexico City where you wll be able to eat delicious insects the next time you visit us, whether you have tried them before or not.
Located in Jardín Centenario, near the Fuente de los Coyotes, in Coyoacán, Los Danzantes is a plus 20 years of experience restaurant. Its main goal is to satisfy the most demanding palates, as well as it exalts, preserves and promotes the culinary traditions of our country. When it comes to edible insects, they use a “oaxaqueño style” in its preparation.
Every year they change the types of edible insects in the menu, but you can normally find sauteed escamoles with butter, flowers mole (made of begonia and vinaigrette leaf with chapulines, snails, golumbos, maguey worms and chicatana ants), wild rice served with escamoles, its famous chapulines and maguey worms, and gorditas filled with cocopaches and chinicuiles (more insects).
Los Danzantes de Coyoacán is located in Parque Centenario #12, Coyoacán.
It is no secret that, in ancient times, the places where the best insects were served, were the “cantinas” (bars). There is no better place to bring these Mexican traditions back to life than in Restaurante Chon, located in the Centro Histórico (downtown) of Mexico City, more specifically, in Regina street. This place is the legacy of a bigger tradition, called Fonda Don Chon, established in 1924, and it seeks to retake all the elements than tha cantinas represented back in those days.
Here, you will be able to enjoy some delicious escamoles, maguey worms, acociles (similar to shrimp), crisantemo flower, ahuauatle (mosquito eggs), as well as warthog meat, rattlesnake meat, iguana, ostrich, crocodile, duck, frog, goatling, deer, jumiles (type of beetle) and chapulines.
Chon Restaurant has a bar service very, very similar to an old cantina, which is perfect for the kind of food you will find there, and you will accompany your meals with the best tequila, pulque and mezcal (alcoholic beverages).
A most-visit place in Mexico is El Cardenal, one of the most popular places and widely recommended by Mexicans. It has a very long history of excellence over its shoulders, as well as a wide variety of Mexican food.
However, we wll talk about that variety in some other time, and we will focus only in insects on this article. Here you can find escamoles prepared with epazote (a very tasty herb), maguey worms from June to July, and chinicuiles (worms) from August to October.
El Cardenal is located in Av. De la Paz 32, in Colonia San Ángel.
El Chapulin restaurant is a highlight from this list that seeks to exalt the richness of our culinary traditions, including our prehispanic culture, as well as our more modern culture. It seeks to fuze all the elements that form our identity as a nation, gastronomically speaking, to create a timeless concept. This concept turns into a menu that respects and follow by letter the typical food of our country, but at the same time, it gives a twist focused on modernity in Mexico.
One of Chapulín’s specialties, are the chapulines served with guacamole salsa and quesillo (melted cheese). Besides, its escamoles toasts (toasted tortilla) are perfect to enjoy at any day of the week.
The name Chapulín (little cricket) does nort come out of nowhere. Here, you will enjoy eating these delicious insects. El Chapulín is located in Campos Elíseos 218, Polanco.
Pasillo de Humo
Pasillo de Humo’s (smokey hallway) specialty is food from Oaxaca, therefore, insects which are typical from that state: chapulines. This place is famous for its cazuela (a big pot made out of clay) filled with fried eggs and chapulines, or, its tlayuda (huge tortilla) with chapulines on top of it.
Pasillo de Humo is in Avenida Nuevo León 107, Hipódromo Condesa.
I hope this options have opened a crave on you for insects, and I hope you have changed your mind about trying these ancient tradition that still lives in Mexico’s heart, in case you were not interested in trying them. I f you were impatrying them, but didn’t know where to do it, what are you waiting for? Bon appetit!
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