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What is acocil and why has it become so popular?

26 mayo, 2021

In this season of Lent and Easter we have the opportunity to try a different and even exotic gastronomic offer. And today we want to talk to you about acocil, a sweet water delicacy that, if you haven’t tried it yet, you’re missing out on a lot!

We tell you all this and also where you can get it so you can enjoy it in a big way.

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What is acocil?


Acociles (Photo: Getty Images)

This is a freshwater crustacean and is very similar to a small shrimp. Its name comes from Nahuatl acuitzilli, from atl, “water and cuitzilli, “That twists”.

These small crustaceans are usually eaten cooked and roasted to accompany tacos, but they are also very popular in drinks such as tequila, making them a very sophisticated snack, as is the case with grasshoppers.

As a cultural fact, the Mexica used acociles as food in the ceremonies of the eighteenth month of the year, the izcalli. With this, a stew called chalmulli, which was accompanied with tamales.

Although they can be found in many parts of Mexico, the states where the greatest diversity of acociles can be found are in Puebla and Veracruz.

In the Huasteca of Hidalgo and Veracruz they are known as chacalines, river lobsters or macaxitl.

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Where can you find them?

Although their name does not sound like much, it is very easy to find them in the various markets of Mexico City. One of them is the famous Hidalgo market, located in the City Hall of Cuauhtémoc. They are also popular in the Xochimilco and Tulyehualco markets.

But if you can’t get to these places, just take a ride in the markets on wheels that are installed in the different colonies and ask where they sell spices and dried chili peppers. It is very likely that you will find them toasted, ready to snack.

So, do you dare to try the acocil?

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