Toasted Grasshoppers

Last month I got to do one of my favorite things – walk around a local market in a different city. This time it was Oaxaca, Mexico, and was it ever vibrant!

Stalls and stalls up and down the aisles filled with local artisans, bakers, cheese makers (I hope I can find their string cheese quesillo here), butchers and purveyors of all sorts of vegetables. There is mole (a long-cooking pepper-based sauce with many other different ingredients such as chocolate, nuts, onions, cinnamon and other spices), chocolate (Oaxacan hot chocolate is so good!), beans, handmade corn tortillas on every corner, squash blossoms galore (loved them in my new favorite dish called tlayuda), tamales wrapped in banana leaves and many varieties of peppers dried and fresh.

One must not forget that Oaxaca is the home of Mezcal, most of which is produced from the Agave angustifolia (Haw.) var.espadin. And the favorite snack – I never would have believed I would have enjoyed it – is chapulines – grasshoppers toasted and seasoned with lime, chiles and garlic. I loved the crunch on top of guacamole!