Chapulines: An Introduction and Brief History

Chapulin Aztec
Of all the edible insects offered in Mexico, Chapulines are many people’s favorite. Chapulines are a traditional Mexican snack that has become popular with locals and tourists.

Although grasshoppers have been a food source in Mexico for thousands of years, today’s chapulines are similar but have some relatively recent changes in ingredients. Today, Chapulines are made using salt, lemon, garlic and chili. The lemon and garlic plants are imports. They were brought in from Europe. So, today’s Chapulines are a relatively modern adaptation of earlier recipes.

The grasshoppers (genus: Sphenarium) are collected during their season which runs from May until late October. Because of the salt used in preparing Chapulines, they have a long shelf life and therefore, chapulines can be enjoyed year-round.

Chapulines can be prepared to be dry and eaten as a snack or they can be fried just to the point of being moist but still crunchy and used as an ingredient. Perfect for tacos and burritos. Try throwing a handful on top of your huevos rancheros next time. ¡Perfecto!

Oaxaca is a Mexican State that is especially well known for the quality and variety of the Chapulines that they offer in the local Mercado’s. There is a local saying “If you eat chapulines, you will return to Oaxaca”.

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