just like a chocolate milkshake only crunchy

We’ve written about eating insects already at the Gimcrack but now that I’ve discovered The Food Insects Newsletter, I see there’s lots more to talk about

Buy the book here

“According to Dick Reavis, one restaurant providing this kind of fare is Don Chon’s in Mexico City, “a back-street landmark for rustics and adventurous connoisseurs. The owner, Leopoldo Ortega, notes that back in the fifties, the restaurant was mainly patronized by the vendors who came from the countryside. Because pre Hispanic food has become relatively expensive, tourists and people with bohemian tastes now outnumber the country folk. A plate of red agave worms is priced at 30,000 pesos or about $11, nearly two times the daily wage of most Mexicans. Reavis also tried a side dish of live worms and describes the indelicate maneuvers required to remove one when it bit him.

image found here

Reavis concludes his article with the following paragraph: “In my opinion, the finest delicacy at Don Chon’s is escamoles in green sauce, sprinkled with diced onion and bits of cilantro. Escamoles are the larvae of black ants. When boiled, they look like cottage cheese. Rank amateurs scoop them up with a spoon, and ordinary Mexicans with a corn tortilla But the blase know, and the bold quickly see, that a torta de ahuatli – a wafer made of batter and the eggs of a swamp fly – does the trick in higher style. The season for escamoles is in the spring. By then, Don Chon’s will also be serving white worms as big as your fingers. I don’t know if they bite, but take my advice:” They’re tasty when toasted, but I wouldn’t eat them alive.”  

Escamoles found here

The eggs of water bugs are toasted, ground up and made into little cakes held together with turkey egg. In the late 18th Century, they were apparently a garnish for the festive dish called revoltijo, served on Christmas Eve. Other insects still eaten include locusts, which can be eaten raw, roasted, fried, jellied and mashed, and are a seductive combination of a crisp exterior and a creamy filling; mountain chinch bugs, eaten toasted or living; oak-boring beetles which are popular as snacks among Mixtec peasants; ant larvae and pupae; and wasps.

Edible locust farm found here

For those of you who turn up your nose at the idea of eating insects, the Food and Drug Administration have published a booklet listing the allowable percentages of “natural contaminants” in processed foods.


Insect filth: Average is 60 or more insect fragments per 100 grams when 6 100-gram subsamples are examined OR any 1 subsample contains 90 or more insect fragments

Chocolate Wine found here

 Rodent filth: Average is 1 or more rodent hairs per 100 grams in 6 100-gram subsamples examined OR any 1 subsample contains 3 or more rodent hairs


Insects and insect eggs: 5 or more Drosophila and other fly eggs per 250 ml or 1 or more maggots per 250 ml


Parasites: 3% of the fillets examined contain 1 or more parasites accompanied by pus pockets


Insect filth: Average of 225 insect fragments or more per 225 grams in 6 or more subsamples

Rodent filth: Average of 4.5 rodent hairs or more per 225 grams in 6 or more subsamples

Noodle chair found here


Insect filth: Average of 30 or more insect fragments per 100 grams

Rodent filth: Average of 1 or more rodent hairs per 100 grams

Peanut Butter Mice found here

Published in: on November 14, 2011 at 8:53 pm  Comments (66)  
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66 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Admit it, you REALLY got those stats from the episode of “Frasier”, when his brother Niles had to fill in for their dad at a safety lecture for kids. 😉
    Sorry, bugs may eat me, but I refuse to KNOWINGLY return the favour! 😀

    • I’ve never watched Frasier

  2. I kind of feel like hurling. I can almost – ALMOST – stomach (so to speak) the thought of inadvertently consuming insect filth but rodent hairs!! Geez.

    I once – on a dare – ate a dead worm as a kid. Obviously, I lived to tell the tale but it’s not something I would ever do again – even in gourmet form.

    • You must have been a daredevil of a kid

  3. ‘Filth’ is such a good word…

    • just as “moist” is a horrid word…

      • How do we feel about “tumescence”?

      • I don’t mind ‘moist’ myself, although both daughters have conniptions when then word is used. Since Violet Towne and myself use the word in conjunction with chocolate cake, this is always most amusing.

        ‘Tumescent’ is an ugly word. Not because of what it means but just because it’s ugly.

      • Really? I love that word. How about “ephemeral”?

      • I like ‘ephemeral’. Also ‘hydrogen’ and ‘caramel’.

      • I like ‘moist’; infact I know someone who used to have a band called that.
        ‘Mellifluous’, ‘arboreal’, ‘callipygous’, ‘lupine’, and ‘vulpine’ are some of my favourites,

  4. These stats would shock even Upton Sinclair. And with those south of the border wages, no wonder there are 11 million illegal Mexicans in the US.

    • 11 million?!?!

  5. Perhaps I’ll skip breakfast today.


    The King

    • Want to try the new Vietnamese restaurant tonight instead?

  6. Nurse, I’m a fan of your ecclectic reading interests but I couldn’t go with you on this one: a brief skim, but I had to avert my eyes!

    • Well you can always just look at the adorable peanut butter mice

  7. Huhu deja vu! 🙂

    • And a huhu to you too

      • Thanks, but I think I ate my fill when I was a kid. 🙂

  8. the gourmet bug bit made me queasy. for no reason i can explain, however, i am far less bothered by ‘fragments’ and ‘filth’. beats me, man…

    • Revoltijo sounds the least revolting of all those dishes to me

  9. I’m never eating again!!

    • That’s a pity. I have a large bag of gum drops to spare

      • Oh. I’ll make an exception for that!

  10. Certain coyotes of your acquaintance, ma’am have consumed both ants and bees. Heavily coated in chocolate… so, basically bonbons with unidentifiable crunchy bits. I like to think they weren’t wings.

    If ya gotta eat bugs, it’s the only way to go…

    • If it’s covered in chocolate I’ll try it

  11. Eating insects seems no more revolting to me than eating any other creature. But I’m a vegetarian…

    • We meat eaters are strange that way. I try to limit the amount of animal protein in my diet but It’s hard. I admire your committment and sentiments Syncy xx

      • Nothing admirable about it. I stopped eating meat when I realised it’s hard for me to digest it. Over the years though, meat has come to look like dead amimals rather than food and really quite horrific. Imagine ‘leg of human’ and you’ll have an idea of what I feel.

  12. i like to eat things that had skeletons on the inside, thank you very much.

    • I’m prepared to be a little more adventurous. But I definitely draw a line at corgi 😉

  13. Eeeeeeeeeeeu!

    • But you’re a foodie Cindy. What’s the unlikeliest thing you’ve eaten?

  14. La la la la I’m not listening …

    • I’ll just wait patiently until your fingers are out of your ears

  15. Just had noodles and suddenly dont feel so good.

    • Do you like the noodle chair?

  16. I can’t wait for Star Trek to come true then we can all eat the Klingon delicacy Gagh (live worms) and wash it down with Ferengi Slug-O-Cola!

    • I never watched Star Trek. But I’m still hopeful of a Jetson’s lifestyle one day

  17. How on earth did you come across this publication? Your research skills are phenomenonal

    • I think it was mentioned in Wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart

  18. I realise how narrow minded I am when I read this and feel ill.

    Just off to eat some snails in garlic butter.

    • Save a couple for me

      • YUM

  19. That reminds me, I haven’t had my minimum Required Daily Allowance of insect filth! No wonder I’m hungry.

  20. Well, that’s put me right off my macaroni cheese. We vegetarians can’t possibly consume insect fragments. Especially 225 of them. I think I’d better stick to gruel and dry crusts.

  21. cracking blog!!! came across it by accident
    greetings from a pissed nurse from wales x

    • Hi John, welcome to the Gimcrack

  22. Mmmmmm mmmmm….pus pockets.

  23. See, I’m a texture person. And visual. I don’t mind that there are insect parts in my beloved peanut butter because I can’t *see* them. But biting into a crunchy/creamy locust? I don’t know… it still has legs, you know?

  24. Well, there’s always Crunchy <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgI-NhaThLs"Frog, and the yearly reports about hog hair in chocolate (some ingredient is made from hog hair, or human hair), but I have to state, that peanut butter is really rotten, a despisable piece of filthy junk.
    Now, what about Leberwurscht?

    • Beg your pardon, don’t know what i messed up with the link, a syntax error – sorry for this!

      • But I LOVE peanut butter

      • … “every rose has its thorne …”

  25. Went to a wine tasting with the wife and had chocolate wine for the first time. Yuck. Worse than regular wine. Anyone got a beer?

  26. My skin’s crawling – do you watch Heston’s Feasts?

    • It’s not on here at the moment but I have watched it in the past. I love his creations

  27. i wouldn’t imagine eating insects myself, but i just feel that eating dogs and cats are far gross.

  28. An expensive restaurant (now closed!) in inner Sydney had as its ‘signature dish’ Chocolate Eggplant. The King and I went there with my tennis group for our Xmas Parday and so all ordered it excitedly.

    No-one could eat it (unlike critics who had waxed lyrical). These are the things that give vegetarianism a bad name.

  29. I apparently tried eating a millipede as a toddler, but my mom saw it and came to the rescue… if it had happened, I might have a more interesting tale to tell. Or not 🙂

  30. OK, I’ll admit it- I’ve eaten gusano tacos and fried grasshoppers in Mexico and even went to a fancy ‘pan-asian’ place called Typhoon in Santa Monica where a friend ordered up the array of bug dishes- water bugs stuffed with chicken were like mediocre dumplings, fried crickets tasted like fried peanuts and ants were undetectable. The tacos were the best by far, actually very tasty. Weirdly enough I saw a bottle of that very chocolate wine in a Chinatown department store a couple of weeks ago and was vaguely horrified. The bugs seem more palatable. Chocolate eggplant sounds worse than all of the above!

  31. I’ve always wanted to try locusts — they’d be easy enough to collect from grain fields in the early fall — but I’d have no idea how to prepare them. Maybe a minute in the deep fryer, followed by copious Old-Bay?

    As for wasps, NONONONONONO! How exactly would someone eat an adult wasp? Do they remove the stinger and venom sac first?

  32. I’m so embarrassed….
    all this time I’ve been eating Escamoles with my hands.
    Oh well. I’m just going to power through.

  33. So much denial is required simply to make it through the day…

  34. Rodent filth and insect fragments … and that’s not even taking into account all the cat hair I accidentally ingest.

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