Editor’s note: Read this article in Spanish at CNNMéxico.com
Long before Timon and Pumbaa from the Lion King popularized the phrase “Slimy, yet satisfying,” a whole gastronomic culture around insects already existed in Mexico.
About 1 million of the 1.4 million named animal species on Earth are insects, and they have the potential to fight malnutrition around the world, said the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
“Wild animals and insects are often the main protein source for people in forest areas,” FAO’s Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva said at the International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition in Rome, where the organization recently presented their latest report, "Edible insects; Future prospects for food and feed security."
According to the release, “negative perceptions” and “consumer acceptance” are the biggest obstacles to the adoption of insects as viable sources of protein in many Western countries. The organization says that “insect gathering and rearing as minilivestock at the household level or industrial scale can offer important livelihood opportunities for people in both developing and developed countries.”
“The profile of the Mexican insects is very favorable because they have a large amount of protein, there is a major quantity of essential amino acids that we cannot produce in our metabolism, but we need to consume in our meals,” said Julieta Ramos-Elourdy, biologist and researcher at the Institute of Biology of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
For those with a big commitment to Cinco de Mayo, the question is this: Do you wait for Sunday, the actual holiday, to start the celebration, or should you begin Saturday, the cuatro de Mayo?
Tough question that you’ll have to answer yourself. What I’ve got are seven places around the country where you can find a phenomenal margarita and plenty of tequila to toast the holiday, whenever you start the party.
Chefs with Issues is a platform for chefs and farmers we love, fired up for causes about which they're passionate. Patricia Jinich is chef at the Mexican Cultural Institute. She also hosts "Pati’s Mexican Table" on National Public Television and blogs at Pati's Mexican Table.
I was born and raised in Mexico City, in a family where every taco happens to be, as my dad boasts, “the best taco you’ve ever had in your entire life." That is, until you eat the next one.
Living in the US, I am often dismayed at how my home country is portrayed in the media. For some, it’s easy to just write off the entire country as dangerous and riddled with cartel violence. As a former political analyst, I am not in denial about the hurdles my country faces, but the Mexico illustrated in some news reports is certainly not the Mexico I know and love - nor is it the Mexico experienced by the 22.67 million international tourists that visited last year.
Cooking, eating and sharing Mexican food has helped me and my Mexican-American boys connect with our heritage. Plus, I truly believe that its warm, generous, colorful cuisine has the power to make Americans fall in love with Mexico - one bite at a time.
The fifth of May is once again upon us; crunch time is on the horizon.
Contrary to what some people think, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. It, instead, celebrates when a much smaller Mexican army defeated the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.
Since then, Americans have loosely translated said victory into a celebration of Mexican culture - and an excuse to stuff themselves like a piñata with molcajetes of guacamole and pitcher after pitcher of ice-cold margaritas.
We're not going to argue with that translation - and are here to help.
Shake up your fiesta with a little help from our experts:
You didn't think we'd leave those piping hot homemade tortilla chips out in the cold with nowhere to go, did you?
Instead of perusing the estimated 100 brands of processed tortilla chips in the local grocery store, beef up your snack tray roster with a chip off the ol' homemade block.
Sauce: Just the word whets the appetite.
And few are the places where the sauce is as rich, wonderfully complex and painstakingly prepared as the mole of Mexico.
Simply put, it’s a chocolate sauce. But it’s more than that - so exquisitely prepared with different chili peppers, cloves, anise, tomatoes, tomatillos, garlic, clove, dried fruit, nuts and a varying number of other ingredients.
5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
Many of us grew up eating out-of-the-can refried
Five Misconceptions about Mexican Cuisine: Julieta Ballesteros
While Sparky's frozen critter crisp dessert was invented on a lark, "tacos de chapulines" are a popular cart and bar snack in Mexico City, Oaxaca and even in certain parts of the United States. Devotees cite the cooked bugs' appealing crunch and protein content - said to be twice that of beef.
iReporter Lulis Leal travels the world with a keen eye, an open heart and an empty stomach. Here, she shares the visual flavor of a trip to a Mexican market where vendors hawk fruit, vegetables, elote (roasted corn with cream and chile powder), tacos and musch more.
Submit your own street food photos and sample more iReports from around the globe. (Yes, it says Maine right now, but last week, it was street food. Just go with it.)