Mexican Cuisine: Bugs And Cannibalism?

25 03 2010

I’ll be on my way to Mexico in a matter of two days, and I’m getting pretty excited to visit a new country. My last post about my upcoming trip was about the strange alcoholic beverages available in Mexico, and this post will focus on the unusual food Mexico has to offer.  According to wikipedia:

“In Pueblos or villages, there are also more exotic dishes, cooked in the Aztec or Mayan style (known as comida prehispánica) with ingredients ranging from iguana to rattlesnake, deer, spider monkey, chapulines, ant eggs, and other kinds of insects.”

That quotation is followed by this pretty amazing picture:

Wow, roasted grasshoppers and insects? I may be a hypocrite here, because during the last memorable Cicada invasion a few years ago and a few of my friends were baking the bugs and eating them, I would have none of that; but for some odd reason, I have always wanted to try grasshoppers and worms. (Well, ever since reading the book, How To Eat Fried Worms, I’ve been interested in the eating of worms.) Speaking of insect-eating in Mexico, wikipedia offers:

“Although the Aztecs’ diet was mostly vegetarian, the Aztecs consumed insects such ascrickets (chapulines), maguey worm, ants, larvae, etc. Insects have a higher protein content than meat, and even now they are considered a delicacy in some parts of Mexico.”

Now, who really knows if Wikipedia really is the truth all the time, but I just read this juicy bit of Mexican history:

“The Aztecs practiced ritualistic cannibalism. Victims, usually prisoners of war, were sacrificed in public on top of temples and pyramids by cutting out their hearts. The bodies were then thrown down to the ground where they were dismembered. The pieces were then distributed to the elite, which were mostly warriors and priests. The meat was consumed in the form of stews flavored only with salt and eaten with maize tortillas, but without the otherwise ubiquitous chili.”

Wwwait…the only seasoning was… salt? Ugh. Salty human meat stew. And yes, you read that right: priests got some of the best cuts of the meat. Wow. Boy, this trip to Mexico keeps sounding better and better.

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