9 Weird foods to try on vacation to Mexico (No. 8 you won’t believe!)

So- you’re a person of the world: you always try the local cuisine, you never balk at strange foods, and you’ll try anything once? Well we hope so because here are 9 weird and wonderful Mexican foods that you might be offered; we’re sure you won’t find these at your local chili’s! Number 7 is definitely not for the faint of heart, anyway!

1. Chapulines (Grasshoppers)

Grasshoppers, fried or roasted but always salty, are a local delicacy in the Mexican state of Oaxaca and are consumed much in the way chips are back home (except they’re much higher in protein, and probably lower in fat). You’ll find that they’re used as a garnish for salad or guacamole, and can be purchased from stalls to be eaten as a snack. Don’t be surprised if you get some of these when you order a cerveza in Oaxaca!


2. Cuitlacoche (Corn Smut)
Huitlacoche, corn smut, is actually the product of a fungal disease that is contracted by maize, but in Mexico this gray/green fungus is regarded much the way we think of mushrooms. You’ll find it in quesadillas, soups and even in sauces. It looks strange, sure, but it’s also quite delicious.

3. Fruit with Chili
It might seem strange to add chili powder to fruits, but adding salt and chili to dried and fresh fruits is a popular delicacy in Mexico, and it’s surprisingly tasty! Some fresh coconut smothered in lemon and salt is also great.

4. Chicatanas (Flying Ants)
This seasonal delicacy comes, once again, from Oaxaca. After the first rains of the wet season every year swarms of these flying bugs, chicatanas, swarm the region and, once caught, are cooked on a hot pan, ground up with salt, chili and garlic, and are then mixed with water to make a delicious, and spicy, salsa!

5. Mole (Hot Chocolate Sauce with Chicken)
Mole is a rather famous Mexican dish made with chocolate and chilis. Though the full recipe is rather complex, chocolate is the main ingredient; you’ll find, however, that every self-respecting Mexican mother, grandmother and chef will have their own recipe. A favourite use for mole is as a sauce for chicken.

6. Cows Eyelids and Lips
It’s true that tourists are often warned not to eat the Mexican street food if they want to avoid a funny tummy while on vacation, but this warning could also help you to avoid eating eyelids! Cows eyelids, tongues, and lips are a real delicacy in certain areas of Mexico, and many people will travel far and wide to get to a taco stand that serves them. Check the meat that goes into your tacos if you’d rather not try this local dish!

7. Escamoles (maggots)
Also called insect caviar (perhaps to justify the high price), this delicacy is made from ant larvae, gathered from the maguey cactus plant from which mescal is made, and has a nutty flavour.

8. Tuna Icecream
Ice cream is found in many forms in Mexico, and can be found in unusual flavours including, you got it, cactus flower! The cactus flower is called “tuna” in Spanish (the tuna fish is “Atun”) and it has a light, refreshing flavour that’s perfect for a hot day! I certainly caught your attention when you thought I was talking fish flavored ice-cream!

9. Worm salt
It’s very common to find worm salt in places that sell mescal. It’s made by crushing worms with salt and chili, and what you do with it is dab your slice of orange (which accompanies mescal just as lemon or lime come with tequila) in it and suck on the juice before your shot of mescal. Some bottles of mescal come with a worm in the bottom; eating it is said to induce hallucinations!

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