Escamoles (Spanish: [eskaˈmoles] (listen); Nahuatl languages: azcamolli,[1] from azcatl 'ant' and molli 'puree'[2]), known colloquially as Mexican caviar or insect caviar, are the edible larvae and pupae of ants of the species Liometopum apiculatum and L. occidentale var. luctuosum.[3] They are most commonly consumed in Mexico City and surrounding areas.[4] Escamoles have been consumed in Mexico since the age of the Aztecs.[5][6] They taste is described as buttery and nutty, with a texture akin to that of cottage cheese.[7]

Escamoles cooked in butter
Alternative namesMexican caviar
Place of originMexico
Main ingredientslarvae and pupae of ants

See also


  1. Reyes Castillo; Pedro Montes de Oca; Enrique Montes de Oca (1997). "Fauna". In Enrique Florescano (ed.). El patrimonio nacional de Mexico (in Spanish). Vol. I. Fondo De Cultura Economica USA. pp. 179–180. ISBN 978-968-16-5452-8.
  2. Émile Bergier (1953). Peuples entomophages et insectes comestibles: Étude sur les moeurs de l'homme et de l'insecte (in French). N. Boubée. p. 152.
  3. DeFoliart, Gene R. (2009). "Insects as food". In Vincent H. Resh; Ring T. Cardé (eds.). Encyclopedia of Insects. Academic Press. p. 381. ISBN 978-0-08-092090-0.
  4. Gaso, M.I.; et al. (2003). "Biological monitoring of radioactivity and metal pollution in edible eggs of Liometopum apiculatum (ants) from a radioactive waste site in central Mexico". In Peter Warwick (ed.). Environmental Radiochemical Analysis II. Royal Society of Chemistry. pp. 334–335. ISBN 978-0-85404-618-8.
  5. Anthony DePalma (2001). Here: A Biography of the New American Continent. PublicAffairs. p. 268. ISBN 978-1-891620-83-6.
  6. Ramos-Elorduy, Julieta; Moreno, José Manuel Pino (2003). "El consumo de insectos entre los aztecas". In Janet Long (ed.). Conquista y comida: consecuencias del encuentro de dos mundos (in Spanish). Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. pp. 89–90, 94. ISBN 978-970-32-0852-4.
  7. Cox, Lauren (May 4, 2010). "Top 5 Disgusting Delicacies". ABC News. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
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