Ay, Qué Rico: Ants Are a Culinary Delicacy for Some Latinos

Ay, Que Rico: Ants Are a Culinary Delicacy for Some Latinos

Credit: Nuestro Stories

Alright, Nuestro readers, I can’t lie to you. When it comes to the food and recipes that you often see me writing about, I have first-hand experience. They are meals that I have eaten before, that I have prepared by my own hand. They are foods that I have shopped for the ingredients, and often know the origin stories. For this story, dear readers? I have no form of first-hand recipe or knowledge to give. This one is a completely new one to me. 

Read more: ‘La Rebelión,’ a Salsa Song About Love and Freedom

Colombians love their ants

I think it is safe to say that most countries have their own form of national dish. Something that brings them a sense of pride, or that houses a history of the people, of the culture. When it comes to hormigas culonas, or big-bottomed ants, the dish is considered a delicacy and source of local respect and honor. It is typically popular in Colombia in the region of Santander.

Yes, you read me right. Big-bottomed ants. Usually harvested in the springtime, hormigas culonas could almost pass a big bowl of ripe, red grapes – at least from a distance. Close up these large, rotund insects are roasted or salted and eaten the same way as if you were eating a bag of chips.

While there is a rumor that they have an aphrodisiac quality to them, what is certain is that hormigas culonas are known to be packed with protein and are quite healthy as an overall snack. 

Especially, you know, for a snack that has legs. 

I’m truly not sure how you would go about making these, depending on the location you are in and considering they are a delicacy very specific to their area – but – in case you want to try! Here’s a recipe that you can look through.

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Olivia Monahan Chicana journalist, editor, educator, and organizer in Sacramento whose sole focus is to shed light on stories on our most impacted and marginalized communities, but even more importantly, for those stories to humanize those normally left out. She is an Ida B Wells Investigative Journalism Fellow 2022 Finalist, a member of the Parenting Journalists Society, and has bylines in The Courier, The Sacramento Bee, The Americano, Submerge Magazine among others.