Do you like Mexican food? Are you sure you’ve tried the real thing? We’ll we’ve got a list here of the top nine Mexican delicacies that we’re sure you’ve never had. Trust us- you won’t find these dishes on the menu at your local Chili’s, and they’re not for anyone with a weak stomach! Number 8 might just turn your stomach.
1. Fruit Sprinkles with Salt and Chili
Let’s begin with the least offensive Mexican delicacy. It might seem strange to North American or European tastebuds to mix sweet fruits with salt and chili, but this is just what some Mexicans do! These salted, spicy dried and fresh fruits are a popular delicacy in many parts of Mexico and are really quite tasty!
2. Tuna Sorbet
Fancy a nice fishy ice-cream? Gotcha! Actually “tuna” in Mexico is the name of a cactus fruit, sometimes called prickly pear; the name for the fish is “atun.” You can breath a sigh of relief. Cactus flower ice cream might sound strange, but it actually has a lovely, light flavour which is really refreshing in the middle of a hot day. The fruit itself is light green, and is textured not unlike cucumber flesh.
3. Flying Ant Sauce
Every wet season Oaxaca is swarmed by chicatanas (flying ants) after the first rain of the season. These bugs are gathered up, fried in a hot pan and ground up with salt, chili and garlic before being mixed with water to make a delicious and spicy salsa that’s unique to the area!
One of the many insect based delicacies found in the state of Oaxaca, chapulines (grasshoppers) are sold on stalls as salty, fried snacks as well as being served as a garnish with salad or guacamole. They are, in fact, treated much the same way chips or peanuts are back home- don’t be shocked if you get these with your corona in Oaxaca!
5. Savory Chocolate Sauce for Poultry
Mole is one of those iconic Mexican dishes that’s used in many different ways. Mole has a long list of ingredients, but the primary ingredients are chocolate and chili. With that said, however, most self-respecting Mexican grandmothers and chefs will have their very own recipe. Mole and chicken is a strange, but wonderful, thing to try.
6. Cows’ Eyelids
If you’re squeamish then you might not want to get tacos from street stalls in Mexico! Though tourists are often given this warning on the grounds that they might get a runny tummy (so to speak), we’re giving you this advice because some street tacos will have cows eyelids, tongues and lips in them! These are true delicacies in some areas of Mexico, and many people will travel a fair distance to visit a stall that provides these delicacies.
7. Ant Larvae
Escamole is sometimes called “insect caviar” (probably to justify the large price tag attached to it) and has a nutty flavour which actually compliments it’s cottage cheese texture. Escamole is made by harvesting ant larvae from the maguey cactus (the plant Mescal is made from).
8. Corn Disease
Huitlacoche (corn fungus or corn smut) is actually the byproduct of a fungal disease that affects maize. In Mexico this greenish/gray fungus is treated much the way North Americans and Europeans treat mushrooms, and is delicious despite it’s strange coloring. Huitlacoche is used in soups, sauces and is even put in quesadillas.
9. Worm salt
Worm salt is just as weird as it sounds; it’s created by mixing worms, chili and salt, and is generally served in places that sell mescal. The idea is that you dip your slice of orange into it and suck the juice and salt up before taking your shot of mescal. Some bottles of mescal even have a worn in the bottom that’s said to cause hallucinations.