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Recipe: Fried "Big Ass" Ants (Hormigas Culonas) from Colombia - Little Observationist
A smoky, woodsy scent fills the air in Mogotes, Colombia, during the rainy season – around late March or early April. It means that the ants are ready to gather, cook and eat or sell. They are a favourite snack sold along the road sides in Colombia, a delicacy that can command quite a high price. Some are exported. You can find them in London, marketed as “Giant Toasted Ants” in Selfridges – a teeny tiny jar costs £17 ($28.50). Apparently they are considered an aphrodisiac. Their Spanish name is hormigas culonas, but they’re playfully referred to in English as “big-ass ants” – with good reason, as they are some of the largest ants I’ve ever seen in my life (and, as the world’s largest ant species, I can rest assured that they will remain the largest I see…). They’re about as long as the top joint of your thumb. Their shiny bodies are split into three sections with long transparent wings attached and pinchers at the front of the head. Early Spring, they emerge from huge ant holes in the ground to mate in the air. When this happens, the business kicks off and locals go hunting. Only the females are …