Apr 22, 2010
Fat Bottomed Ants You Make the Rockin' World Go 'Round! Hormigas Culonas — The Bootylicious Ant Delicacy from Colombia.
What you gon' do with all that junk? All that junk inside yo' big ant trunk?
Spring is in the air, my peeps, and you know what that means. Spring fever! And you know what spring fever means here at Deep End Dining, that's right — big ass food. I mean literally foody with booty. (Not to be confused with a foodie with booty.)
I like big butts and I cannot lie, butt (and I do mean butt) when I imagine big ass food there is nothing I can picture freakier than Big ASS Ants! Yeah! You heard me!! BIIIG ASSSSS ANTS!! Insects that pack much back!
Just how big are the butts on these big ass ants? Well, take a gander at a normal sized ant that you might come across or squish in your day-to-day life. Find one? Great. Now take a good hard look at its ass. Give it the once over, twice over. Put your eyes all over that ant’s gaster.
Then, have a long lusty leer at the big ass ants in the photo (above). See how your normal skinny ass ant looks like an anorexic Lindsay Lohan compared to my J-Lo with baby bump hormiga culona.
Omigod, Becky, the hormiga culona's ass is just so big. It's just so round. It's like out there.
Translated, hormiga culona means big ass ant. They're actually Atta laevigata or leaf-cutter ants, and these bootylicious bugs are the Kim Kardashian of the ant kingdom and bringing sexy back to entomophagy (or the practice of eating insects).
When these big ass ants are feeling sexy in the springtime, all they want to do is jet from the nest and get busy with some male ants. Unfortunately for the hot and bothered winged female big ass ant, springtime is also when the hormigas culonas hunters swoop in and harvest the ants by the thousands if not hundreds of thousands. They are big ass money for the peasant harvesters from rural areas in Colombia like the department (or state) of Santander where the big ass ants are found in abundance scrambling out of their nest in search of mates at the beginning of April each year.
But before you pop a handful of these big ass treats into your boca, they need to be processed and cooked.
It’s easy enough, really: pluck off the wings, pull off the legs and repeat 50 to 100 times depending on how peckish you’re feeling. Then, dump the big ass batch into some salted water for a spell, rinse and dry fry the mini colony in a pan. Present in a snack bowl and serve with your favorite big ass ant beverage pairing. My friend and fellow odd food blogger Valentino Herrera (Trippy Food) enjoys his with a cold bottle of Aguila from Columbia. He also happened to be the supplier of my big ass ant sampling.
More than a dime bag of big ass.
His supplier, though, brought them to him in a plastic baggy, undeclared through customs. A plastic baggy filled with contraband from Bogotá, Colombia. No, not Colombian Marching Powder.
Don’t ask, don’t tell, just eat.
The first one I ate was as good as I had hoped it would be: salty, light and crunchy like a thick, tri-segmented peanut’s skin with nothing but air inside. There was no hint of an offensive flavor whatsoever…until my next one.
Bugs are not my favorite food item because of a disagreeable taste that is unique to insects, especially when it's lightly seasoned as was with the second big ass ant I had.
The issue is an acrid chemical flavor that lingers and lingers — absolutely unwelcomed and doesn't know when to leave.
I kindly declined on the rest of the big ass bag because I simply couldn’t get that sharp bug taste out of my mouth.
Don’t misunderstand me, I still like big butts — just not the kind that include antenna and then salted and dry roasted.
Check out Trippy Food's encounter with the bountiful booty ant from Bogotá.