Culture

A Mexican Chef In NYC Is Giving Diners A Chance To Try Gourmet Mexican Food With Traditional Insect Ingredients

Back in 2014, the East Village didn’t know it was about to get a gourmet traditional Mexican restaurant. So traditional that Chef Mario Hernandez does not hold back from tossing in a few ‘edible’ insects to top off your guac or rim your tequila glass. Owner Jorge Guzman told New York Magazine that the ants are expensive because they only emerge in Oaxaca once a year.

Here’s a look at the foods you can expect at the gourmet New York City restaurant The Black Ant.

First, start with the guacamole with crushed ants to top it off.

CREDIT: @theblackantnyc / Instagram

Remember, this is an upscale Mexican restaurant we’re talking about so the guac is going to be extra ($13 to be precise). It’s served with wakame-black ant salt.

Try a grasshopper croqueta.

CREDIT: @theblackantnyc / Instagram

Mmhm. That’s a croqueta de chapulín. While there is one grasshopper who is staring you down, you can eat the rest of them without looking at them in the eye. They’re tucked in with yucca-manchego and salsa.

Not everything is covered in ants.

CREDIT: @theblackantnyc / Instagram

Like this buñelo de pato (crispy duck dumplings) bathed in Oaxacan Mole Negro y queso fresco. Támbien tiene algo por veganos: the roasted seasonal vegetables with vegan green mole and greens.

Para tomar: crushed worm salt rimmed tequila.

CREDIT: @theblackantnyc / Instagram

Yup. I guess worms are salty. The Black Ant is lauded for it’s cocktails above all else and is worth getting a spooky drink or two to celebrate the Halloween season.

Get spooky with these floating ant carcasses in your drink.

CREDIT: @theblackantnyc / Instagram

Eso es Buenbicho Mezcal with Chile ancho infused campari, cocchi torino sweet vermouth and orange oils. And ants.

Careful, because even dessert can bug you out.

CREDIT: @theblackantnyc / Instagram

Can you spot the insects? This is a platano cake, parsnip and grasshopper ice cream. Take your next adventure-seeking date here.

The chef goes back to Mexico every two months to restock on insects.

CREDIT: @theblackantnyc / Instagram

The menu changes based on the season for insect collection. Did I just block out that vendor at the market?

If you’re adventurous, but only en el mar, try this dish.

CREDIT: @theblackantnyc / Instagram

It’s (obviously) a seared octopus tentacle con frijoles, but can I just say that octopus are actually some of the most intelligent creatures and have been spotted playing a game of toss witch each other.

Can you spot the insects?

CREDIT: @theblackantnyc / Instagram

Because they’re there, all en mezcla con shishito peppers, avocado purée and queso fresco. I believe these are another variety of roasted grasshoppers.

Get your veggies in, along with these creepy white buggers.

CREDIT: @theblackantnyc / Instagram

I’m telling you, people are raving over this restaurant. ZAGAT continually gives the restaurant a 4 star rating and has rated their guacamole as the Best in NYC.

Veganos: meet your meal.

CREDIT: @theblackantnyc / Instagram

You know when you go to a fancy restaurant and there’s only one thing on the menu and it’s $22 vegetables? Well this is kind of like that (scroll down for more), but the reviews are incredible. The vegetables are all fresh, and we all know how time consuming fresh mole is to prepare. This is gourmet to the max.

Then of course there are tacos.

CREDIT: @theblackantnyc / Instagram

While both the owner and chef repeatedly tell news outlets that they brought The Black Ant to the people to show that Mexican food is more than tacos and burritos, their tacos are showstoppers.

This is a piña pastor with avocado purée on a fresh spinach tortilla. Veganos, rejoice.

You can find more traditional (in the modern sense of the word) comidas here, too.

CREDIT: @theblackantnyc / Instagram

Like some good ole’ fashioned pollo rostizado (roasted chicken breast). Served with grilled onions, camote purée y chichilo.

Some dishes will have hidden insects.

CREDIT: @theblackantnyc / Instagram

The chef told Latin Glam that the key to breaking taboo is to incorporate insects like you would any other food. Hide the face.

“If we don’t have the surprise element, if we see the insects and decide to engage with it, it makes it a little less crazy.”

Although some people are here for the crazy.

CREDIT: @theblackantnyc / Instagram

I mean, who hasn’t bought salt and vinegar grasshoppers at your local Sloan’s Ice Cream Shoppe as a teenager just to be edgy? ????????

Now you can be adult, fancy edgy at The Black Ant.

ZAGAT also rates their brunch as Top 10 spots in NYC.

CREDIT: @theblackantnyc / Instagram

Don’t worry. These eggs have nothing crazy in them, unless you consider duck confit crazy, which you might if you decide to google it.

Claro, tiene elotes.

CREDIT: @theblackantnyc / Instagram

These come with spicy mayo and crab meat, so they’re a little next level. But they’re still our favorite comfort food no matter how you dress them up.

No te preocupes: you can get American things like avocado toast, too.

CREDIT: @theblackantnyc / Instagram

Although, támbien lo tiene crab meat. Vegetarians can opt for the Peaches and Cream french toast, which is made of brioche, manchego toast, roasted peaches and cream, pistachios and lavender honey.

Let’s talk about dessert real quick.

CREDIT: @theblackantnyc / Instagram

Because they offer “mousse de chocolate,” which is exactly what it sounds like, but with avocado puree, a cacao crumble and coconut sorbet.

Plus, uji matcha churros?! It’s topped with prickly pear gel. I’m drooling.

Pues, dale and get yourself some merengue if you’re not ready for buggy food.

CREDIT: @theblackantnyc / Instagram

Whatever your dietary restrictions or expansions are, The Black Ant has something for you. Si se puede, support your local authentic Latino owned restaurants, whether it’s your corner taco stand or the gourmet ant specialty Mexican restaurant in the East Village.

Happy crunching.


READ: 5 Things You Should Know About The Iconic Mezcal Worm

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Radical Feminists Have Seized Control of a Federal Building in Mexico in Protest of the Government’s Apathy Towards Rampant Femicide

Things That Matter

Radical Feminists Have Seized Control of a Federal Building in Mexico in Protest of the Government’s Apathy Towards Rampant Femicide

Last week, Mexican feminist activists took over the National Human Rights Commissions federal building in a move to bring greater awareness to the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide that has racked Mexico for decades.

According to the federal Interior Secretariat, the statistics in Mexico have recently taken a turn for the worse.

Domestic violence against women has became an even more acute problem since the pandemic has forced women to stay insider with their abusers. Emergency distress calls reporting domestic violence have risen by 50%.

The occupation of the Human Rights building is just another chapter in the saga of the “Ni Una Menos” (Not One More Woman) movement, an anti-femicide collective born in Argentina that has steadily been gaining steam in Mexico since 2019.

In recent years, anti-femicide demonstrations have been sparked by various heinous crimes against women or girls that have been largely overlooked by law enforcement officials. 

Photo by Marcos Brindicci/Getty Images

Unfortunately, the government of Mexico has appeared to be apathetic to the wave of femicide that is overwhelming the women of their country.

Recently, when President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was asked to address Mexico’s gender violence epidemic, he demurred, stating that he didn’t “want femicide to detract” from the raffle his administration was holding for the sale of the presidential airplane.

As for the feminist activists at the heart of Ni Una Menos and the federal building occupation, the government’s failure to respond to anti-woman violence is the primary fuel for their anger. 

“We’re here so that the whole world will know that in Mexico they kill women and nobody does anything about it,” said Yesenia Zamudio to the LA Times. According to Zamudio, she is still seeking justice for the murder of her 19-year-old daughter four years ago.

The women of Mexico appear to be fed up, grasping at any and all tactics that have the potential to incite change on a grander scale.

Their tactics may seem dramatic to some, but it’s undeniable that they are no longer being ignored. As of now, the radical activists are pulling attention-grabbing stunts like decorating a portrait of Mexican Revolution leader Francisco Madero with lipstick and purple hair.

They’re also making headlines for vandalizing the federal building’s walls and splashing paint on the doors of the presidential palace.

One thing is for sure: something has to change. Otherwise, thousands of innocent women and girls will continue to be raped, abused, and murdered while their perpetrators escape with immunity. 

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Joe Biden Speaks Alongside ‘Fearless Fighter’ Kamala Harris In First Appearance And Recalls Her Family’s Immigrant Story

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Joe Biden Speaks Alongside ‘Fearless Fighter’ Kamala Harris In First Appearance And Recalls Her Family’s Immigrant Story

Chip Somodevilla / Gettycc

After weeks of speculation and anticipation, presidential candidate Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that he has officially picked his running mate.

In a history-making announcement, Biden revealed that he had tapped California Sen. Kamala Harris to be his VP Pick.

“I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris — a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants — as my running mate,” Biden announced in a tweet.

On Wednesday, Biden held his first campaign event alongside running mate Kamala Harris in Delaware.

During their speeches, the two candidates wore masks and kept their distance in keeping with COVID-19 standards.

Speaking about his VP pick, Biden described Harris as coming from an “America’s story.” Biden described Harris as “a child of immigrants” who “knows personally how immigrant families enrich our country as well as the challenges of what it means to grow up Black and Indian-American in the United States of America,” he explained. “And this morning, all across the nation, little girls woke up, especially little Black and brown girls that feel overlooked and undervalued in their communities, but today — today just maybe they’re seeing themselves for the first time in a new way as president and vice presidents.”

In a speech of her own, Harris emphasized the importance of family and urged citizens to vote.  “We need a mandate that proves that the past few years do not represent who we are or who we aspire to be,” she said. “Joe likes to say that character is on the ballot. And it’s true,” she explained. “I’ve had a lot of titles over my career and certainly vice president will be great. But ‘Momala’ will always be the one that means the most.”

Harris’s nomination makes her the first Black and first Indian-American woman on either major party’s presidential ticket.

Harris is a former prosecutor from California who challenged Biden in her own presidential bid last year. Her nomination makes her the fourth woman to appear on a major presidential ballot. Before her, Geraldine Ferraro ran as a Democratic vice presidential nominee in 1984. In 2008, Republican Sarah Palin ran as a vice presidential nominee, later in 2016, Hillary Clinton became the Democratic presidential nominee.

Biden’s choice was one that has long been in the works. In March of this year, he revealed that he would make a point to have a woman as his running mate and in July he announced that he had narrowed his picks down to four Black women.

Kamala Harris was elected to Congress in 2016.

This has been Harris’ first term as a senator. Before, she served as the California attorney general. During her time as AG, Harris formed a lasting friendship with Biden’s late son Beau who was attorney general at the time in Delaware. Writing about Beau’s death, in her memoir The Truths We Hold, Harris recalled that “there were periods when I was taking the heat when Beau and I talked every day, sometimes multiple times a day,” she wrote in her memoir. “We had each other’s backs.”

Biden’s son Beau died in 2015 from brain cancer. Harris attended his funeral.

During his announcement, Biden mentioned Harris’ friendship with his son.

“I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse,” Biden tweeted. “I was proud then, and I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.”

So far, it seems there are quite a bit of Harris x Biden supporters.

Fans were quick to give their support and applaud her candidacy.

In a tweet acknowledging her nomination, Harris wrote “@JoeBiden can unify the American people because he’s spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he’ll build an America that lives up to our ideals. I’m honored to join him as our party’s nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief.”

Here’s to 2020 y’all. Get ready to make history.

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