Sompopos de Mayo- huge flying edible ants
At the beginning of the rainy season in May in Guatemala, the winged queen sompopos make a brief appearance. Here's an excellent photo
The are more butterfly like rather than annoying ant and one ambled around my finger today.
I was told the back sack is edible, but the lady introducing me to them said she didn't eat them. She seemed to have a real affection for them and I'll have to learn more Spanish to find out what that is about.
A comment in the first link says ... they would actually take the winged ones and cut them in half and fry the back end and eat them. Some like them rolled up in tortillas. They taste like butter
This link says ... Sompopos de Mayo taste great browned in lemon juice and salt
This link with everything you wanted to know about sompopo ants but were afraid to ask says
Fact #1: May’s Sompopos Ants are edible
Yes, May’s sompopo queens are collected by some Guatemalans who remove the belly bottom and roast them on a comal (baked clay griddle), add salt and lime juice. Those who have tried them say that sompopos taste like butter or chicharrones (pork rinds).
Actually, May’s Sompopo Queen Ants could be considered the “Mayan Caviar” since the part removed from them is loaded with ants eggs. In other words, the belly bottom of the sompopo queen ant is the equivalent of the roe of fish.
Has anyone tried them?
It is a year later, almost May, and the first sompopo arrived signaling the end of summer. Like the first robin announcing spring, here the sompopo is a sign that winter and the rainy season in Gautemala is about to start. Seems weird to think of the months of May thru October as winter.
Here's a photo of the first sompopo.
I gotta go with what a friend said about them last year. It is not pleasant when it is dark and you are sleeping and these things fly into you. It gives me some incentive to eat them.
I haven't dined on one yet. However, I'm keeping my eyes open for any place that fries up a batch.
Great reading, thanks for posting this. Eating insects has always fascinated me on an intellectual level but slightly creeped me out on an actual-plate-in-front-of-me level. I'll do it, but I gotta work myself up to it. These sampopos though, I might even eat without hesitation. The bright red color makes them look pretty good!