The gusano, or worm, at the bottom of a bottle of cheap mezcal is actually moth larva. Fattened on sweet agave nectar, they might be sautéed and folded into warm tortillas or toasted and ground up with rock salt and dried chile peppers for sal de gusano: worm salt.
Why worm salt is actually a thing and how it can make you Tequila taste even better. Made from the larvae that inhabit the agave plant, worm salt is a spicy-salty condiment that comprises toasted and ground up “worms”, chiles and salt and is traditionally served with orange slices as an accompaniment to Mezcal.
Furthermore, what does worm salt taste like? When ground with salt and dried chiles, the worms lend an earthy, umami-rich flavor to the salt that illuminates the wide spectrum of mezcal varietals, eaten in pinches, or sprinkled onto fruit to awaken and reset the palate.
Similarly, is worm a salt?
Worm salt, or sal de gusano as it is known in its native Mexico, is a traditional condiment for tequila, cocktails, salsas etc. There is really only one thing you must know about this slightly smoky, savory salt: it’s made out of worms.
How do you take mezcal worm salt?
In Mexico, they pulverize them and add them to salt. That’s worm salt.” He recommends a two-ounce pour of mezcal (in a jicarita), accompanied by a half-wheel of orange sprinkled with worm salt. “You sip your mezcal, then take a bite of your orange, so you keep cleaning your palate and keep tasting the mezcal.”
How is worm salt made?
Prized as a source of protein since Pre-Hispanic times, the larvae live in the agave plants used to make tequila and mezcal. Fattened on sweet agave nectar, they might be sautéed and folded into warm tortillas or toasted and ground up with rock salt and dried chile peppers for sal de gusano: worm salt.
Why are there worms in tequila?
Perhaps even more popular than the actual tequila is the worm crawling around the bottom of the bottle. But the worm, or gusano, actually originated with tequila’s “lower-quality” cousin, mezcal, largely as a marketing ploy. The gusano is the larvae of a type of moth that lives on the agave plant.
Does all mezcal have worms?
So tequila is a type of mezcal, but mezcal is not tequila, and only mezcal has worms. According to Anthony Dias Blue’s Complete Book of Spirits, that “worm” is actually a larva from one of two types of moths, known as maguey worms, that live on the agave plant.
Is mezcal smoked?
Mezcal gets its smoky flavor during the production process. The hearts of the agave plants, piñas, are cooked in pits in the ground in a style that’s similar to that for making barbacoa. (Tequila agaves, by contrast, aren’t cooked.) The cooked agave is then crushed, combined with water, and allowed to ferment.
Are you supposed to eat the tequila worm?
Most people would not eat the mezcal worm, but in some cultures it is quite acceptable. There are no proven side effects that come with consuming a Tequila worm.
Does mezcal make you hallucinate?
Contrary to popular belief, the worm in mezcal isn’t a worm at all, it’s actually a larva. Despite the worms’ prevalence among mezcal brands, the larvae are not necessary. And no, it won’t make you hallucinate.
What’s difference between tequila and mezcal?
On the most basic level, tequila tends to have a smooth, sweet flavor, whereas mezcal is often described as savory and smoky. The smoky quality is usually attributed to the underground ovens used to cook the agave.
What is Grasshopper salt?
The chapulin salt is a combination of toasted grasshoppers from Oaxaca with a mix of local peppers that intensify the characteristic flavor of this insect. This salt is an ideal product for signature cuisine as well as for the creation of original cocktails.
How do you drink mezcal?
Method 1 Drinking Mezcal Straight Pour 2 fl oz (59 mL) of mezcal into a jicarita. Garnish with an orange wheel sprinkled with sal de gusano. Enjoy it neat and at room temperature. Take a sip and swish it around in your mouth. Serve mezcal with traditional Oaxacan tlayuda.
Does mezcal give you a hangover?
Jimenez says this is because good mezcal contains no additives: “Many alcohols have a ton of sugar and other chemicals. Your body just recognizes the difference.” Of course, alcohol of any kind can and will give you a hangover if you drink too much too fast, but that’s not how mezcal is meant to be consumed.
Why do they put worms in mezcal?
The worm itself is actually a moth larvae called a gusano de maguey—since it feeds off of the maguey plant. Some think the worm in the bottle started as a marketing ploy, to get people to drink more mezcal in the 1940s and 1950s.
Why is mezcal so expensive?
Compared to tequila, mezcal can be significantly more expensive, and without much background on the process, it can be hard to understand why. Many different species of agave can be used for mezcal production, unlike tequila, which uses only one (blue weber).
Is mezcal stronger than tequila?
Both Tequila and Mezcal have their own Domination of Origin BUT Mezcal has to be made with 100% agave while Tequila can be mixed with up to 49% other alcohol. Mezcal must be bottled in Mexico. Most Tequila is bottled (and aggregated alcohol) outside of Mexico. Tequila can only have blue agave.
Can you drink mezcal on the rocks?
If you want to drink your mezcal like they do in Mexico—or in any traditional bar that’s well-stocked in agave spirits—you serve the spirit in copitas (shallow clay cups). If you don’t want to buy either for your home, you can also serve your mezcal in a standard rocks glass.