When the Bug in Your Food is Actually Your Food

No joke there are bugs in my food

212 To My City | Becca Miller | February 25, 2016

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For some reason, I decided that my first series on The Rival would share my attempts to eat my way through the crazy foods of New York City. I thought it would be fun to get a little adventurous and try some unusual foods that really just make you ask the question, WTF is she eating?

We all know New York food is where it’s at. Fancy food, cheap food, and apparently some really strange food. My job is to taste the foods no one else (on staff) is willing test.

Could this be self-torture? Possibly. But is it entertaining? Abso-fucking-lutely.

So you’re welcome for the stories you get to read about my apparent self-loathing as I scour the city for some of the freakiest food I can find.

And it all starts here: the grasshopper taco. I like to ease into things.

“So you’ve tried the grasshoppers before then?”

“No,” I responded naively to the woman counting my change. “This is my first time, we’ll see how it goes.”

The woman laughed as I took my brown bag off the counter, along with my change, and walked back into the miserable February weather. What the hell am I doing?

My first meal was the chapulines tacos from Toloache, a tiny Mexican restaurant serving all of the food you’d expect — plus these tacos. The menu reads, “Chapulines Tacos: Oaxacan-style dried grasshoppers, onions, cilantro, jalapeño, salsa verde.”

chapulines 11

Scary, right? Upon reflection, not so much: grasshoppers are popular snacks in parts of Mexico, particularly Oaxaca, and can be found in many street food stalls throughout the country.

There has to be something good about eating these little bugs if they’re so popular. They’re high in protein, common, and cheap — sounds like the perfect college food. So I thought, hey, worth a try.

I could not have been more wrong.

In truth, there’s nothing hugely detestable about the taste of these bugs. There’s no distinct flavor or smell — all I tasted was some limey guac and onions. Props to the chef on that.

I was most disgusted by the texture: the feeling of legs and the bodies of tiny grasshoppers in my mouth. The crunch was unreal, and might have been pleasant had I not known I was chomping on bugs. And as I write this article, even after brushing my teeth, I’m sure I still feel spiky grasshopper legs against my cheeks. Guys, I pulled a grasshopper leg out of my teeth — a crunchy, pointy grasshopper leg. That just isn’t my jam — although I could totally understand their popularity: they’re convenient, cheap, and compelling, clearly.

chapulines 22

Personally, I give grasshopper tacos a thumbs down. Two thumbs down. Three thumbs if I had another hand. I’m sure there are people who love them, but I wouldn’t do that again if I was paid. And now, I’m mentally preparing myself for many a scary, scary meal.

Stay tuned, it’s going to get wild.

But seriously guys, I’m having some doubts about this series.

Moreno, Carolina. “How To Make Grasshopper Trail Mix With Oaxacan ‘Chapulines’.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. 3 Nov 2015. Web. 18 Feb 2016.

“Chapulines.” Eat Your World. Eat Your World, LLC. N.d. Web. 18 Feb 2016.