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!


Ain’t Got No Rainbarrel

When I was a child, I spent a lot of time in Storm Lake, Iowa with my grandparents Floyd and Alice Klinzman. They lived in a grand old house, with loads of oak woodwork, two big porches, and a white picket porch swing.

In the spring, the sticky purple scent of my grandfather’s iris blanketed the backyard, which was also host to a full-to-the-brim wooden rain barrel for splashing in and a cellar door worn so smooth it could be used as a slide. As I played in the yard among the grapefruit-sized heads of Grandpa’s iris, I often sang this song.

I’m sorry playmate, I cannot play with you

My dollys got the flu, boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoohoo

Ain’t got no rain barrel, ain’t got no cellar door

But we’ll be jolly friends forevermore.

For some reason, it delighted me to sing this song because I did indeed, HAVE a rain barrel and a cellar door. But it did not please me more than the rain barrel I now possess.

Felipe made our rainwater collection system by sawing a pvc pipe in half horizontally, which he wired to the roof and downspouted into a 55-gallon barrel. When the rains come I ask expectantly after the first big downpour, “Do you think it’s clean enough yet.”

He generally makes me wait for 3 big rains, and then…

The morning of the fourth deluge, we go outside and plunge our mouths into the velvety cool waters of heaven. There is no water more satisfying. Continue reading