Eating Big-Bottomed Ants in San Gil
San Gil is a beautiful, vibrant town. A busy central plaza is surrounded by sloping, cobbled streets. At a first glance you would never guess, but this town has a secret. A love of the extreme. From extreme sports (I tried paragliding) to extreme culinary offerings. And I’m not just talking about the pineapple sauce they put on my hot-dog, because that was actually pretty tasty! I’m talking about hormigas culonas. Or big-bottomed ants.
Ants are a traditional snack in this region of Colombia. Legend has it that if the local peasants didn’t eat the ants then the ants would eat them! (That’s a story line of a low-budget horror film right there!) So to help out the locals I decided to try them for myself, I didn’t want someone getting eaten alive being on my conscience, you understand.
Luckily these aren’t just any old ants plucked off the ground. They’re big, or at least their bums are. They’re roasted and seasoned with salt. They still looked like ants though and I was very aware of the fact I was putting an insect in my mouth. I bit down and felt it crunch. A stray leg got caught between my teeth. I could only taste the salt. A bit like popcorn really.