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What are escamoles and how can you prepare them?

25 mayo, 2021

Mexican gastronomy is full of peculiar ingredients. We tell you everything you need to know about celebrities escamoles, a popular pre-Hispanic food.

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They are the eggs and larvae of black or red ants. They are distinguished by having a white and creamy color, in fact they have an appearance similar to puffed rice grains.

They are a Mexican dish that dates from pre-Hispanic times, they have a high nutritional level and a very peculiar flavor. They are mainly produced in the region of the State of Mexico, Hidalgo and Tlaxcala.

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  • Its name comes from Nahuatl azcamolli, azcatl means ant and molli stew or sauce.
  • They are also known as chiquereyes, huigues or maicitos.
  • It is harvested every year during the months of mallet and April.
  • The production is very limited and the harvest is complicated, so they are an expensive food.
  • Ants build their nests underground, generally under cactus plants, mesquite trees, lollipop trees or the base of a maguey tree.
  • To collect them, a hole of 2 to 3 meters must be dug until the nest is found, at the end they must cover it again so that the nest regenerates.
  • Climbing ants are usually very aggressive.
  • A nest takes around 3 to 5 years to have a good production.
  • They provide a large amount of protein, four times more than meat.
  • Due to its cost it is considered as “Mexican caviar”.
  • In addition, it is recommended to cook them with few ingredients so as not to affect their original flavor.

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escamoles taco

(Photo: Getty Images)

Due to over-exploitation, there is currently a shortage in the production of escamoles, which has increased its cost.



  • 1 cup of chopped white onion
  • 100g butter
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 green serrano pepper, chopped
  • 400 g of escamoles
  • 2 tablespoons of epazote leaves
  • Salt to taste


  1. First, sauté the onion with the butter and oil in a skillet.
  2. Add the chili and escamoles, cook until they turn white.
  3. Finally, season with salt and epazote, mix for a couple of minutes and remove from the heat.

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