One of the things I love most about leading food tours is introducing folks to new and delicious—or sometimes just new and strange—foods. Chapulines, for one. The fried grasshoppers are a popular snack in Mexico. A snack that stopped me dead in my tracks in my latest tour of the 7 line. “Let’s go in here,” I said when I saw the bright pink sign that read, “Hay chapulines,” on the door of Mexicana Bakery. It had been at least a year since I’d seen the crunchy critters, not that I had been looking that hard, mind you. Six dollars later I was the proud owner of a good sized bag packed with ruddy critters.
Crunchy, salty, tart and with a somewhat disconcerting juiciness, they made for a nice snack, and were certainly the strangest foodstuff on the day’s tour. My client had no problem trying a few, but didn’t go back for seconds. When I asked the gal whether they would have them regularly she didn’t seem to know. That said there were at least a half dozen bags in the case when I was there. The next stop on the tour was La Esquina del Camaron Mexicano where my pal Pedro and of his customers proclaimed in unison, “Where did you get those!?”
Mexicana Bakery, 88-04 Rosoevelt Ave., Jackson Heights, 718-507-6381