The Mouths of Babes

The Mouths of Babes

DSC_0167“Here, you have to pull the head off.”

“I’ll do it!”  Joe pinched my food expertly and twisted the offending body part loose.  The remains, cloudy and moist, jiggled in my palm.

I steeled myself.  “Camera ready, Ezra?”  He nodded, hoisting my equipment into position.  The lens blinked at me.  I produced a smile.  The shutter fired, and I bit down.

Beka had entrusted Rachel, Evie, and me to her sons’ care for the morning. After our visit to the bakery and the park, she and Tessa hurried home to prepare lunch for the onslaught of guests slated to arrive. The boys would shepherd us to the river down the street from the family’s house — but, first, I had promised to sample Joe’s favorite Ecuadorean food: chontakurros.  We staked out what amounted to a food court in search of our prey.

The price - $1.50 - surprised Joe: 'It's expensive here!'

The price – $1.50 – surprised Joe: ‘It’s expensive here!’

The vendor served the chontakuros impaled on a stick, with a chunk of yuca (a tuber).  Joe and Ezra prepped one each for Rachel and me.


I avoided thinking too hard, and popped one in my mouth.  It tasted … salty.

DSC_0136 DSC_0139

What are chontakuros, exactly?



DSC_0145Suffice to say, I’m glad Joe didn’t show me the live grubs before he fed me a dead one.  It simplified the whole expedition greatly.

Later that day, Beka professed her astonishment that Rachel and I had actually eaten the grubs.  “We have grown men visit who refuse to eat them,” she laughed.  “You girls are brave!”

The dish divides the family.  Joe and his father enjoy grubs; the other three kids groan and stick out their tongues at the mention of them.  As for me… I wouldn’t mind eating a chontakuro again.


We cleansed our palettes after the grubs

We cleansed our palettes after the grubs

3 Responses »

  1. Hahaha! That’s awesome. 😀 You are brave. I’d’ve eaten it too, I think, but it would have taken a little bit of mind-over-matter. 😛 Especially after this “the remains, cloudy and moist, jiggled in my palm” ever-so-appealing description.

    “It simplified the whole expedition greatly.” Lol! I believe it. I wouldn’t want to watch them wiggling right before I ate one, either.

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