Thursday, November 06, 2008
Two Special Treats for You in Oaxaca, Mexico
The City and State of Oaxaca, Mexico
The state of Oaxaca is the insect-eating capitol of Mexico. About 300
species of insects are considered "edible" and more than a dozen are
consumed regularly by the Indigenous population of this state. Mostly
you'll be offered one of two types of insects in and around the market
area; "Chapulines" and Maguey worms, which are the same worms used to "flavor" Mescal and Tequila.
Photo: woman selling chapulines
Want to Try Chapulines?
Chapulines are reddish-colored roasted or fried grasshoppers. Usually
three sizes are offered: Small - where they are so small in fact you can't
even tell what they are. They simply look like a reddish powder of some
type. This might be the best way to start off if you'd like to try them. "Free" samples are offered, typically by Indian girls or women, in hopes you'll like them and buy some. Medium - larger and recognizable if you look at them closely. Frequently seasoned with lemon or lime juice and placed in a plastic bag for you to carry and munch on at your
leisure. Large - nearly adult sized and definitely recognizable. Not for the faint of heart! But at whatever size you choose, bite the bullet and try them!
They're actually pretty tasty! (Honest !)
Worm Your Way into These
Maguey worms are used in mescals and tequilas. They live on and eat Maguey
cactus which is the same one from which liquid is fermented and processed to
make mescal. Worms are typically about an inch or so in length and about a
quarter inch in diameter. They are also edible when fried or roasted and
can be purchased in both forms at the market, usually sold by Indian women
in their brightly colored native dress. If you'd like to try a sample,
there's no charge, in hopes you'll like the nutty taste of the sample and
make a purchase of more. Dried or roasted they can be added to mescal to
impart extra flavor to the liquor. Again, you should take the plunge and
buy a few. If you don't try them (they're crunchy like unsalted,
nut-flavored pretzels) you can always put them in the bottle or two of
mescal you'll buy while you're here in Oaxaca.
Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 125 countries worldwide. Get your FREE, pdf format report on CD or via e-mail, "Creative, Dynamic Ways to Motivate and Teach English as a Foreign Language to Diverse Groups of Reluctant Learners" by requesting the title at: firstname.lastname@example.org