Chapulines A Oaxacan Delicacy
by Greg Rutkowski
What Are Chapulines?
Chapulines is a Spanish word and in English, it means grasshoppers.
In the context of Mexican food, chapulines is a traditional Oaxacan healthy snack that people love to eat made of cooked grasshoppers and seasonings.
The exact history of preparing chapulines is widely unknown, but the word is a Nahuatl word which suggest that this protein was part of the indigenous people's diet.
During the Spanish conquest of the Americas in the mid 16th century, there were records of grasshoppers being part of the indigenous diet.
How Are Chapulines Harvested?
There are several ways to capture grasshoppers, in Oaxaca and the State of Mexico.
Early in the morning with nets, the hunters go through the alfalfa fields making the insects enter the trap when they jump.
Once enough grasshoppers are harvested, they are ready to be prepared as chapulines.
How To Prepare Chapulines?
Chapulines are toasted grasshoppers that are typically seasoned with lime and salt or even powered chile and garlic.
Traditional preparation includes toasting each chapulín on a comal over an open flame.
A comal is a Mexican griddle that is used for many different types of food.
After the chapulines are finished cooking, they are then seasoned to taste and ready to eat.
What Is The Texture And Taste of Chapulines?
The texture of the toasted grasshoppers is crunchy and flaky.
Chapulines are known to taste slightly smoky and a little like shrimp.
In general though, the natural flavor is mild and that is what it is seasoned with lime, salt, chile, garlic, and more.
How To Eat Chapulines?
There are many ways to eat prepared chapulines.
They can be eaten by itself as a healthy nutritious snack.
It can be served as a delicious accompaniment for your next mezcal tasting.
Lastly, another Mexican favorite is to use them on tacos with lime and guacamole.
What Is The Nutritional Value Of Chapulines?
One 3.5 ounce servings contains anywhere from 14 to 28 ounces of protein.
Sources say that a serving contains 53% protein, 4% fat, 2% carbohydrate, and 20% fiber.
Oil is often added during the toasting process which can increase the content of fat as well.
Are There Other Ways Chapulines Can Be Prepared?
Yes, in fact you can use chapulines to make an earthy tasting salt from.
Sal de Chapulines is great on fruits, vegetables, and for rimming cocktails with.
Another popular thing to do with chapulines is to make a delicious spicy salsa with it that you can use on meats and salads.
You can find our Pure Organic Oaxacan Salsa here.
Where To Buy Chapulines?
The best way to buy Chapulines is to travel to Mexico to the Oaxaca, Chiapas, Hidalgo, and Central Valley regions where you can get them fresh off the comal.
You can also find them in restaurants in Mexico City.
There may be certain customs regulations when you take them across the border as well.
The easiest way to buy chapulines from is online and you can find our selection here.
Greg Rutkowski, President
Greg is a lover of agave spirits, handicrafts, and barware. In 2020 he married all of his loves and created a business bringing amazing pieces from all over Mexico to the United States. Learn more here.