Salsa de Chicatanas: The Local, Seasonal Salsa Made From... Ants

One of our favorite ways to use Chicatana ants is to grind them into a smoky, super-savory salsa using a molcajete. The recipe, shared with us by the Vásquez family, our partners in Oaxaca, relies on a good amount of chicatanas, which are pricey for a reason: they are truly scarce, very region-specific, and harvested by hand. The result is something you'd never expect from an insect, almost like a cross between truffle, brown butter, and a washed-rind cheese. 


Chicatanas leave their nests just once a year, during the first major rains of late spring and early summer—the stars really have to align for these edible insects to make their way to your plate—so we like to give them special treatment by serving this salsa on its own, with chips or fresh tortillas. It also makes a delicious filling for tamales or addition to tacos. Check out the recipe video below and enjoy!

Masienda Chicatana Ants Hormigas Chicatanas from Oaxaca

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Masienda Molcajete basalt mortar and pestle

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