Things are looking up for us, and it’s not just because our food has wings. After our damn near traumatic time at last year’s Brooklyn Bugs festival, we decided to press on in our entomophagy dabbling and check out the Black Ant, a Mexican restaurant in New York’s East Village that features a few signature bug dishes on its menu. There, we talked to chef Mario Hernandez, who walked us through the assembly of dishes like grasshopper (chapulines) tacos, ant guacamole, and croquettes that also feature grasshoppers. Hernandez grew up in Mexico and has been eating bugs practically all of his life—the grasshoppers the Black Ant serves, are in fact, imported from Mexico for maximum flavor.
This meal kicked ass. Bugs are great. In a brief period of time, we have been made believers. While eating insects is in many ways more sustainable than many other protein sources common in American cuisine, what the food actually was and what it could mean to the environment was secondary to taste. That’s to say, our culinary pleasure was pure.