Do These Dishes Bug You?

In Washington, D.C. – a city better known for its love of “pork” – a Mexican restaurant is dishing up grasshoppers. Grasshopper tacos, to be exact. The farm-raised insects, known as chapulines, are imported from Oaxaca, where they’re a popular market staple, thanks to their low cost and high protein content (as much as 77%). At Oyamel, the trendy venue headed by Jose Andres, the 1½-inch critters are tossed in a dusky sauce of shallots, tequila, garlic and chipotle in adobo. Wrapped in a soft tortilla, they make for a crunchy filling reminiscent of soft-shell crab. Although Oyamel’s chef, Joe Raffa, just intended the unusual tacos as an opening special, their status as the capital’s latest “I dare you” dish has given them…legs. Not daring enough? Pay a visit to Edible, where you can find an assortment of delectable creepy-crawlies, including Detoxified Scorpions, “a canapé never forgotten,” the purveyors claim. But beware if you order the Chocolate-Covered Scorpion (“similar to Kit Kat in texture!”). The website warns: WE CANNOT OFFER REFUNDS OR REPLACEMENTS FOR BROKEN SCORPIONS AS THIS IS NORMAL IT WILL NOT AFFECT THE DELIGHT OF EATING THEM. You might wash the scorps down with a swig of Lizard Wine, “produced by steeping Rice Wine in a clay vat full of Tokay Gecko Lizards.” And in case you hadn’t assumed it already, the site notes: LIZARD IMPARTS A UNIQUE FLAVOUR. But what about dessert? Some Giant Hornet Honey, perhaps? The hornet’s right there in the bottle, imparting “energy-giving enzymes.” And why not end your repast with some Weasel Coffee, made from beans “eaten & regurgitated by a weasel?” This Vietnamese delicacy supposedly has a “unique rich chocolaty flavour.” As for me, if I want to buy coffee from weasels, I’ll just go to Starbucks.
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