Oaxaca Criolla Green Salad with grasshopper topping paired with Pinot Noir

Oaxaca Criolla Green Salad

What we Americans typically think of as just plain old bugs are an essential part of many other cultures’ cuisines. Entomophagy, the consumption of insects, makes sense once you overcome the idea that you’re eating something that you might find crawling around your swimming pool. Insects have a higher protein content than most meat, poultry and seafood, and they’re readily available in places where steak and salmon are too scarce or expensive to buy. And, once you get over the initial shock, they can be delicious.

So, when I received an “ Oaxaca Criolla” Green Salad recipe from  Ix-Chel Ornelas Hernandez from Oaxaca that included a grasshopper topping  I knew I had some research to do on what wine might pair with a spciy grasshopper  salad.  I found several opinions from entomophagy experts and a couple of local SoCal winemakers.

Gene Rurka, the chef and exotic foods guru who orchestrates The Explorers Club’s in New York says, “Wine is a logical match for insects. When you see a piece of chocolate, your mouth waters. When you see a bug on your plate, your mouth shuts down and stops producing saliva. The right wine can help you create the juices required to eat the insect and enjoy it.”


Since grasshoppers are notably toasty and nutty-flavored a Pinot Noir is a good all-around choice, as is a Thornton Winery Rousanne or because this particular salad has some heat in it A Quady 2010 Electra Moscato would also be a good choice.

You can experience true Mexican food at its source. On May 25 -26, 2012, and June 1-2, 2012, Chef Ix-Chel Ornelas Hernández and Chef Liz Galicia will partner with Las Ventanas al Paraíso (Cabo, México)  resort’s Executive Chef Fabrice Guisset to delight hotel guests and the  local community with the true flavors of traditional Mexican cuisine, providing a unique and authentic Mexican gastronomical experience.

During this unique gastronomical festival, Las Ventanas al Paraiso and the  extraordinary female chefs will honor the colors and textures of Mexican ancestral cuisine characterized by authentic ingredients, rich in history and tradition. Guests will enjoy dishes enriched with the techniques and components of the Dominican missionaries, tasting recipes that date back more than 600 years and are at the heart of the Mixteca culture of Oaxaca.

For reservations or additional information call 52.624.144.2800 or email lasventanas@rosewoodhotels.com

For those who can’t make the event, Chef sends you regards through a distinctly authentic recipe  from Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, Mexico. It can be difficult finding  FDA-approved grasshoppers in the US but if you try a Mexican store you might get lucky and score some. If not, chef suggests substituting bacon.