chapulines, chicatanas, chinicuiles, jumiles, escamoles and maguey worms are just some of the edible insects that are used as the main ingredient in the dishes that make up the gastronomic sample: bug season.
The culinary festival takes place at Los Danzantes restaurants, which started this seasonal event 26 years ago; and more recently Corazón de Maguey was added to also present this show to the delight of city dwellers. Both places are located in the Bicentennial Garden of Coyoacán, one of the most visited tourist spots in Mexico City.
Alejandro Piñon, chef of The Dancersexplains that this festival will remain until June 6 for those who like the exotic flavors of insects and, in addition, take advantage of the nutritional benefits that this food provides.
Chapulín toast and blue dough tamale with bugs are some of the dishes that are on the menu of the Corazón de Maguey restaurant.
On the other hand, Los Danzantes has on its menu: sope Quetzalcoatl and rice with bugs among other preparations.
NUTRITIOUS AND DELICIOUS FOOD
According to records and research in Mexico there are more than 300 species of insects throughout the country, which, in addition to being delicious, are very nutritious; for example, approximately 100 grams of grasshoppers contain 62% protein, the same amount of meat has 60%. Also, depending on the species, they include potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, iron and various vitamins.
“The escamoles are known as ant roe, but in reality it is the pulp of this insect. They have a lot of protein, compared to meat, maybe they have more protein and better quality, but they are very expensive because it is difficult to collect them. However, we have to stick to the capture season and respect the breeding cycles. It is a way of sustainable consumption”, says the chef.
Gustavo Munozfounder of Los Danzantes restaurant and arduous promoter of the Mexican gastronomy and the first restaurateur to include national wine and mezcal in his wine list, recommends leaving the collection of insects in the hands of experts to avoid imminent extinction.
“We have to be aware that insects should only be captured in season, as well as respect their habitat so that these critters are truly called the food of the future”, points out the owner of Los Danzantes.