Chapulines....Fried Grasshoppers...... genus Sphenarium
These fried grasshoppers, a speciality of Oaxaca, were an appetizer that I enjoyed recently at Mezcal Restaurant in downtown San Jose. As you can see they were served with guacamole and tortilla chips.
In Oaxaca they are collected only at certain times of year (from their hatching in early May through the late summer/early autumn). After being thoroughly cleaned and washed, they are toasted on a comal (clay cooking surface) with garlic, lime juice and salt containing extract of agave worms, lending a sour-spicy-salty taste to the finished product. Sometimes the grasshopers are also toasted with chili. Chapulines must be very well cooked prior to consumption, because, as with other grasshoppers, they may carry nematodes that can infest human hosts