René Redzepi has just cooked a Mexican wasps nest!
It was harvested on a full moon, in accordance with local tradition, and cooked whole over a bonfire
Most of us would look at a wasps nest and think ‘danger’ rather than ‘lunch’. Yet most of us aren’t the brilliant Copenhagen chef and Noma founder René Redzepi.
Redzepi and his brigade are in eastern Mexico at the moment, running their third annual international Noma pop-up restaurant, this time in the beach resort of Tulum.
Mesoamerican peoples have a long tradition of insect cookery and, in making the most of the local flora and fauna, Redezepi and his cooks have already served up quite a few insect-based dishes, including a plate of ant eggs.
Those eggs were plucked from the ants’ nest, yet this wasp dwelling was roast whole, in accordance with “a thousand year old Mayan tradition,” Redzepi writes in a recent Instagram Post. The nest was “harvested at new moon, that's when they give the larvae,” the chef explains. “The nest is cooked whole over a bonfire, then the toasted larvae is shaken out and marinated with sour orange, chile and cilantro, and eaten in a tortilla.”
Want to have a go at this yourself? Well you can find out lots more about eating insects in our new book On Eating Insects. Meanwhile, for more on René's life, food and outlook get A Work In Progress.