วันศุกร์ที่ 15 มีนาคม พ.ศ. 2556
Eggs of the giant black (Escamoles)
Escamoles are the eggs of the giant black Liometopum ant, which makes its home in the root systems of maguey and agave plants. Collecting the eggs is a uniquely unpleasant job, since the ants are highly venomous and have some kind of blood grudge against human orifices.
The eggs have the consistency of cottage cheese. The most popular way to eat them is in a taco with guacamole, while being fucking insane.
Escamoles (ant larvae) has been called “Mexican caviar” since at least 1989 and most commonly holds the nickname today. If you’ve spent any time in Mexico, you’ve probably seen the maguey cactus; it’s practically the home for this exotic and nutritional ‘worm’. You can harvest the ant larvae from the beginning of the rainy season in the spring until late autumn.
Mexico have a native dish called ‘escamoles’ in Central Mexico, once considered a delicacy by the Aztecs. As far as insect-related pre-Hispanic foods go, this one is better than it sounds. The light-colored eggs, resemble white-corn kernels or pine nuts. Often pan-fried with butter and spices, escamoles can be found in tacos and omelets or served alone, accompanied by guacamole and tortillas. It’s indigenous, tasty, and memorable, without the gross-out factor of those fried crickets and bugs (another common pre-Hispanic insect food). Those who enjoy escamoles say they’re creamy like cottage cheese, with a buttery, nutty flavor.
Escamoles have a surprisingly pleasant taste: buttery and slightly nutty. This hugely increases the chances that, while in Mexico, you could eat them without realizing you are eating a taco full of fucking ant eggs
Liometopum ants are among the most voracious of aphid predators; which together with the impossibility of reproducing all year, makes it difficult to use and makes the escamoles in a very expensive dish. Aphids feed by sucking plant juices, which is damaging enough, but the most serious damage comes from the plant diseases they carry. They also produce honeydew. This can grow an unsightly, and potentially fatal, sooty black mold, which hoses off, or washes off with soapy water. Aphids multiply so rapidly because they’re born pregnant. In fact, there are tiny secondary embryos inside the first embryos. The damage they do to plants has made them enemies of farmers and gardeners the world over, but from a zoological standpoint they are a very successful group of organisms. Their success is in part due to the asexual reproduction capability of some species.
The Escamoles contain between 40 and 60% protein, plus fats, vitamins and minerals. This is a much higher percentage than that of the protein of beef (17-21.5%) and chicken
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