12 October 2015

Archidona, Ecuador

Not a single one of us – all intrepid travel writers, people who have explored the world and sampled the foodstuffs that fuel its people - is brave enough to eat the writhing, crinkling chontacuro worm that Diego holds between his fingers. It’s bigger than I had expected it to be, and the thought of biting down into its juicy folds is enough to dispatch my appetite for good. Diego does the dirty work: he squirts fresh lime onto the hapless worm, pulls off its hard black head and pops its still-writhing body into his mouth. When he offers us the cooked version of this Amazon jungle delicacy, we can hardly refuse. I take a bite of one of the now-crisp barbecued worms and find that it is actually quite tasty: buttery and rich, like crispy chicken skin. But one bite is enough; I tell myself it’s because I feel sorry for the creatures, now withered and curled on their sorry, charred kebab sticks.  
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