Bizarre Foods Season 15 Episode 5 – Oaxaca: Ant Tortillas and Grasshopper Tacos

Air Date : Nov 3 2015 | 75 Views | 0 comment(s)

Summary: Andrew goes south of the border, and seemingly back in time, to Oaxaca, Mexico. Tastes and traditions from prehistoric times influence every bite as recipes thousands of generations old still reign supreme. From roasted winged ants and grasshopper trail mix to grilled intestines and superheated rock soup, Andrew discovers why Oaxaca is hailed as Mexico’s culinary capital.Andrew’s first stop on his edible tour finds him in the rugged farmlands north of Oaxaca City. Local guide Maria Itaka introduces Andrew to a family who still celebrates indigenous foodways – cooking, speaking and hunting the way their ancestors did – including catching chicatanas, or winged ants! The family invites Andrew to their home for a one-of-a-kind experience watching grandmother hand down treasured family recipes to grandmother, resulting in a simple but beautiful meal of chicatana-filled tortillas. With uncomplicated, mind-blowing cooked black beans on the side, this is a meal Andrew will never forget.Next, Local chef Pilar Cabrera brings Andrew to the tiny town of Reyes Etla, renowned for making the traditional quesillo cheese she features at her restaurant. Pilar, who has been buying cheese in this town all her life, tells Andrew 40% of the people in Reyes Etla produce the cheese! Andrew witnesses firsthand how one family handcrafts the signature round-shaped snack, then samples it in a homemade memela.For a taste of truly prehistoric times, Andrew heads to Cesar Gapuchin’s Caldo de Piedra eatery. The restaurant is named after its featured dish, caldo de piedra: a soup made from dropping a superheated rock into a dried gourd filled with raw ingredients – dating back to the years before pottery was even invented! Now a dying art, Cesar takes great pride in keeping the tradition alive, knowing that it sustained his Chinantec ancestors for centuries – and Andrew takes great happiness in eating it!Andrew and Maria go to Tlacolula Market, one of the oldest in North America, where villagers from the surrounding valley have congregated for centuries. Resulting a rich multitude of edible offerings, the market is a prime feeding ground for Andrew, who samples everything from Mesoamerican chocolate and wild cherries to dried beef heart and aged intestines! The real star of the market is the fresh tejate – a dish of ground corn, fermented cacao, mamey seeds, rosita de cacao flowers and toasted pecans, all mixed with ice water – and Andrew and Maria get a special look at just how it’s made. Meeting up with some real Zapotec tejateras, Andrew witnesses the 8-hour process of grinding tejate by hand and the sacred tradition behind the latest ladies in the ancient line of making it.Next, Andrew visits the Inalim Company, where Hugo Sandoval and Roberto Perez are exploring ways to harvest Oaxacan grasshoppers and export the underappreciated protein around the world. Andrew tries whole grasshoppers at their peak of freshness, and also baked and tossed in a canola fried mixture of garlic, chili de arbol, and peanuts for a type of “trail mix!”What better way to end a Oaxacan adventure than with celebrated chef Alejandro Ruiz? Alejandro brings Andrew to Abastos Market, where he grew up selling cheese, to shop for his award-winning restaurants, and shows Andrew how his inspiration is created from hundreds of neighborhood recipes. Back at his restaurant Casa Oaxaca, Alejandro whips up grasshopper tacos with quesillo cheese, traditional Oaxacan mole, and seared rabbit legs with chayote. All in all, brilliant combinations of simple flavors cherished by the local people, and transformed into world-class representations of what made Oaxaca what it is today.

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