Will insects become the food of the future? According to the FAO, the UN agency for Food and Agriculture, insects are recommended to combat hunger in the world. Colombia, for example, have the culona ants as one of its most precious delicacies. We tell you everything about this curious delicacy.
At the gastronomy of the Colombian region de Santander, whose capital is Bucaramanga, there is a curious delicatessen which in the eyes of many people can be extravagant. It is about the culona ants, a highly appreciated delicacy in that department despite its high price. As a curiosity to say that a kilo of cocaine costs less that of this insect. For the locals, it's all about their caviar.
Raised mainly in the Santander municipalities of Bucaramanga, San Gil and Barichara, this food is more and more widespread for Latin America. Its popularity stands out above all in Venezuela, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia and Guyana, as well as Colombia itself. In addition, he has started his export to other countries in the world, mainly Japan, Canada and the United Kingdom.
What are culona ants?
Our culona ants They are an insect native to the south of the American continent that stand out for their marked abdomen, from which their name comes. In addition, they are experts in cutting leaves and each colony is divided into different groups: the queen, the soldiers and the workers. All of them stand out for being laborious in the care of their habitat. They're a migrant species, especially in rainy seasons. It is at that moment when they are collected.
After being collected, they must be put in salt water to clean all impurities and eliminate bacteria. With a crunchy bite, its smoky flavor is an explosion in the mouth. As for its benefits, note that they are a potent source of protein and an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial ally. Local people also highlight their aphrodisiac power, even more than cinnamon or oysters.
One ingredient for multiple recipes
Although their most traditional way is to eat them roasted as a snack, the culona ants They are especially used to make a sauce that comes from the time of the Aztecs. named chicatana, which is another way of calling this insect, it is a dressing traditionally made with mortar. It is very easy to prepare, you will only have to mash the main food together with water, garlic, chili peppers, tomato and avocado.
In the city of Barichara, chef Jorge Díaz is the owner of Ant Color, a restaurant specialized in this delight local. Practically all of his menu is made with this insect. From pizzas to desserts, through stews and soups. His specialty is fillet mignon bathed in reduction of crushed ants and herb broth. This dish has made the establishment included in the guide Lonely Planet from Colombia.
Insects in our diet
As we have pointed out at the beginning of the article, the FAO recommends that citizens eat insects to fight hunger suffered by certain areas of the earth. According to a 200 page report published by the agency in 2013, grasshoppers, crickets, and even culona ants they can be an extraordinary source of food, not only for humans, but also for livestock and pets.
According to the same study, the UN agency highlights that around two billion people in the world supplement their diet with all kinds of insects, since they have a large amount of nutrients and properties. In addition, its consumption favors sustainability, since it has a very positive environmental impact. These small animals generate less greenhouse gases They feed on man-made waste.
As you have seen, the culona ants They are a gastronomic pleasure in Colombia, but added to the new habits, it is possible that their consumption becomes more and more a place in the world diet. Although it may shock at first, it is about tasty and very beneficial food for our health. Do you dare to try them?