First appeared as “Holy Mole” in the December 2017 issue of Air Canada enRoute.
Kate Chomyshyn opens her palm to reveal a handful of lemony chapulines, grasshoppers fried to a crackle and dusted with chili powder. “I tried these in Ontario and they tasted like a fish tank,” she says, before tossing them back. Here, the grasshoppers are plucked from the stalks of corn harvested in local fields, dried, fried and seasoned, then made into mountainous piles and sold in scoopfuls by women in bright dresses. At the seemingly infinite Central de Abastos market in Oaxaca City, a one-hour flight from Mexico City, there are shoe stalls and backpack stalls, flower stalls, juice stalls and tortilla-press stalls – stalls across several city blocks arranged in a fashion that’s either dream or nightmare, depending on your penchant for organization. Colours and scents spring off the walls in a kind of sensory pinball game.