Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Toloache's Chapulines Tacos (Fried Grasshoppers!)

As I tweeted the other day, my wife had gone out to dinner with the girls to Toloache, a restaurant that has been on my (ever growing in length) list to try for quite a while, because I've been dying to try the grasshopper tacos I'd read about many moons ago. I got the next best thing, perhaps even better, in having them delivered to my couch as my wfie got some to go on her way out. Check out these beautiful guys, "Chapulines, Oaxacan-style dried grasshoppers, onion, jalapeño":

These little suckers are addictive, crunchy, nutty, and so unusual, yum! At first I just started munching on the individual bugs to get a sense for what they were like on their own, and ate nearly half of them off one taco before i forced myself to try the components together. And they worked well together indeed. These tacos will hardly replace pork or beef (or barbacoa!), but I'd gladly have one as an addition to a meal or as a snack. They were lighter than a meat taco, and the crunch really satisfies.

If you are still curious about insects in meals, here is a story about a recent insect dinner in Brooklyn that sounded awesome. (Why didn't anyone give me the heads up on this?) Here's a Q&A with Andrew Zimmern extolling the virtues of bugs as well, both talk about Chapulines. They are also mentioned in Sifton's one star review.

As an extra bonus, my wife also brought me a delicious "Quesadilla de Huitlacoche y Trufas,manchego cheese, corn, black truffle, huitlacoche salsa":

Corn smut, or huitlacoche, is a fungus that grows on corn under certain conditions and turns out to be utterly delicious. It is earthy and musty and rich, a very unique flavor and one of my favorites ever since I first tried it years ago.

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