Eat the Grasshoppers at Hugo's: Soft Chapulines Tacos
I believe the last time I willingly ate bugs was when I was five and didn't know any better. So, how did I find myself in my twenties ordering grasshoppers to share as an appetizer with my fiancé while dining at Hugo's?
Photo by Molly Dunn Who wants to eat grasshoppers at Hugo's?
In certain countries, bugs and insects are delicacies, such as fried centipedes and locusts in Beijing, spiders in Cambodia and the Witchetty grub in Australia. In America, we tend to step on our bugs more often than we toss them in a frying pan to serve for dinner. However at Hugo's, grasshoppers, or chapulines, are pan-fried and served with guacamole, blue corn tortillas and a spicy chipotle tomatillo salsa.
I have always seen the chapulines on the appetizer menu at Hugo's, and admittedly have been curious to try the little buggers, but could never bring myself to actually ordering them. In fact, the one time I almost ordered them, I was informed they were sold out; I saw it as a sign to not have them.
Photo by Molly Dunn Crispy, crunchy, oily grasshoppers. Yum!
The other night, though, my fiancé and I agreed to take a whack at trying these fried grasshoppers. If it didn't turn out well, we would just feast on the blue-corn tortillas and guacamole and sip on our margaritas, because we sure needed something to get us through eating bugs.
The platter of fried grasshoppers, guacamole, salsa and tortillas arrived. Just as I expected, the bowl of chapulines literally looked like a bowl of bugs, but the additions of sauteed onions and wilted greens made it more of a "dish" in my opinion. We asked our waiter the proper way to enjoy the grasshoppers, and he informed us "by the spoonful" was his preferred method. But, if we couldn't stomach that, he said to coat the small tortilla in guacamole, place a spoonful of grasshoppers onto the tortilla and top with the spicy salsa. Sounds harmless, right?