How To Eat a Live Bug

A jumile is a stink bug and they are in season for about eight weeks, from mid-November through the first of the year.  They are’ in season’ because during this time they eat exclusively oak leaf litter and it makes them taste spicy.

Jumiles can be foraged on the Cerro Frio or bought in the markets from Doña’s with writhing baskets full with a straw down the center, or in this case a paper cone.  The bugs crawl up the cone and then fall back into the basket which keeps them from flying away. They are also sold  in small bags with a bit of leaf litter and pinholes pricked for air, because you see, the jumiles are eaten alive.

Jumiles in the Pente De Itzla Mercado.

Jumiles in the Pente De Itzla Mercado.

How to eat a live bug:

Pick up a bug with two fingers to keep its wings from flapping…which is a really creepy feeling in your mouth.  Place it between your molars and bite down.  Be careful, because the weirdness of this act can cause you to chop down and bite your own fingers if you’re not careful.  I have done this.  Masticate the bug well before releasing it into your mouth, because wings can be texturally unpleasant, like choke in your artichoke bottom.  After you get the hang of it you can just place a bug on your tongue and flip it back to your molars.

Jumiles are delicious.  Sometimes they are so spicy they burn your tongue and cause the affected area to go numb. I must say I don’t at all agree with the descriptions I have read about what jumiles taste like, cinnamon, tutty fruity chewing gum, but I can’t really come up with a description of my own. They taste like jumiles; you will just have to try one.

Felipe is positive that bugs are the protein source of the future, and though I don’t necessarily agree with this, I do believe that the United Nations study that suggests one feasible way to combat world hunger is by reducing meat consumption, bugs are a viable option to that end.

Here in Morelos, we also eat grasshoppers, sautéed with salt and lime.

I was amazed when I researched this article how many bug eating blogs there, this is my favorite(girl meets bug). The link will lead you to an unbelievable list of bugs that are eaten worldwide. I was shocked, and honestly, especially in relation to food that is not an easy thing to do.  What a delight to be amazed, surely it is one life’s vsvevg pleasures.


If you happen to have access to some jumiles and cannot eat live bugs but don’t mind blending them up, this is a delicious salsa.

Salsa de Jumiles

2 oz. live jumiles(eat one to see how spicy they are)

1-3 chili serrano depending on the heat of the jumiles

½ pd roasted tomatillos

1 clove garlic


Blend In your bug ‘o’ matic!


Favorite Forage

The month I was away in the US(aug/sept) both of my favorite foraged foods, hongos azules(blue mushrooms) and ilamas were in season. It was a bummer. I consoled myself with the wide variety of good cheap wine available in the US.

This is a photo of last years’ mushroom harvest. VSVEVGs ’logo is also a photo I took of the spectacular mushrooms, which are so blue they bleed blue when you break them, unfortunately they turn the color of a regular mushroom when cooked.

Blue mushrooms taste like tilth, really good dirt, such as I imagine Iowa farmers are hoping to taste when they sample their fields in the spring.  One might even convince kids to like mushrooms if they were umpa lumpa blue, though a friend of my says they are more pitufo,(smurf) blue.

Wild mushrooms are harvested at a higher altitude than where we live, requiring a day trip up the mountain. Every family has their own secret spot in the oak forests of Cero Frio, just like when I was little girl hunting morels with my Mom and Dad in the Iowa woodlands. Hunting mushrooms is for me, a ritual of nostalgia.

I was lucky with ilamas, my sister- in-law has late fruiting trees, she knows I love them and saved one for me. They come in this pink, which is my favorite, and also a white variety which is good but doesn’t have the complexity the rosas(pinks) do. They taste like raspberry custard. They’re fun to eat, very similar to a bread fruit, you remove the segments each of which has a large seed and suck off the creamy flesh. They really are fantastic, especially if you delight in messy fruit eaten with your fingers as I do.

Finally, this strange and entertaining treat we enjoy  in October, I have no idea what it is, Felipe calls it peineta.

Each of the orange flower sprays sits in a  tiny cup of nectar, you press your face to the stamens and suck out the juice, it tastes like thin, light, fruity honey, and because the flower is pollinating when you’re done your face is covered in bright orange pollen. I never feel more akin to the insect world than when sipping peineta, unless I’m eating one!Don’t miss next month’s forage installment, I will teach you how to eat a live bug! Which is amazingly,  Very Simple, Very Easy and Very Good.