Thursday, June 16, 2016

LXXIII. Chicatanas

Tasty, Crunchy Ants

These hormigas, or ants, are large--up to 2 cm long--and emerge from the
ground as the rainy season here begins to hit its stride. They come up from
the ground to stagger around, into houses, fountains and pools, creating a
mess before they die. Then they begin their afterlife as a tasty treat.
Yesterday was one of those rare days in the rainy season when the lluvia came down buckets during the DAY!—unusual because the rain almost always falls during the evening and night time hours. So, we took the only sane course, fortunately available to a retired couple, and slept in. When we awoke about 10AM and stumbled outside we noticed our patio was filled with dozens of large winged ants, lumbering sodden and zombie-like (much like us) among the puddles. Today we were enlightened by our maid: these are a type of ant that when prepared are called chicatanas—a seasonal delicacy. Now is the time to harvest them, “field dress” by removing wings, legs and antennae. The simplest way to cook them is to lightly oil and quickly fry. Supposedly a crunchy, peppery source of protein…We will report back.

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