What appears to be a delectable pine-nut salad is far from being a vegetarian’s dream.
Escamoles are pale yellow beans that look like beans and are a particularly distinctive Mexican speciality. The escamoles are the eggs or larvae of the “Liometopum” species of gigantic black ants.
Collectors refer to them as “fart ants” because of the strong odor that emanates from their nests. Escamoles are a popular, if pricey, ingredient in and around Mexico City.
Harvesting desert caviar is a difficult task.
Scamoles are a more upscale delicacy that you won’t find on your typical street food vendor.
Unusual delicacy is a specialty found at high-end restaurants, as its name suggests. Not only do popular ant eggs bear a passing similarity to fish eggs, but they are also known as “Mexican caviar” or “desert caviar.”
Escamole harvesting takes place in the high plains of Central Mexico, far from the sea. In the roots of agave or maguey plants, poisonous insects deposit their eggs.
After a long journey through the desert, the so-called Escamoleros must locate ant nests in order to gather the delicate ant eggs.
Each nest only produces eggs four to five times each year. All of this occurs just between February and April, resulting in a very short harvest.
Harvesting is a tough and unpleasant process due to poor accessibility, scarcity, and the ant’s terrible sting. All of these aspects add to this Mexican delicacy’s rarity.
Escamoles can cost anything from $35 to $100 per pound, thus their moniker.
What is the flavor of escamoles?
The larvae have a cottage cheese-like consistency and a nutty or buttery flavor, according to reports.
Unique ant eggs are usually not mixed with strong-tasting components since the flavor is faint and delicate.
Green peppers, finely sliced onions, and epazote leaves are used in the classic Escamole dish. The ingredients are cooked together for a few minutes until the beans are white, and then they’re used as a taco or omelet filling.
Ant eggs have a long history in Mexico as a cuisine. The Aztecs, on the other hand, ate scales, which is where the term “ant pupae” comes from.
It comes from the Nahuatl term “azcamolli,” which means “ant” and “stew” in the ancient Aztec language Nahuatl. This pre-Hispanic delicacy has made its way into chic Mexico City eateries hundreds of years later.
Furthermore, this delicacy is a one-of-a-kind item that is never sold out. Escamoles are not accessible outside of Mexico since it is illegal to transport ant eggs over the border.