My host family has been telling me for months that November is a great time of the year because “katsus” start appearing. I had no idea what my family was talking about at first. I thought I heard Cactus, but after a bit of charades I understood what they were talking about was a beetle. Basically, these beetles start coming out of the ground in the rainy months and people get up at 4 to 5 in the morning to collect them to eat at the house or to sell in the market. They can best be described for people living in the USA as June bugs.
For the first two weeks of November, I kept an eye open for the sale of beetles in the market in Otavalo and Cayambe. Finally, last weekend, I had an opportunity to buy some. I walked up to the lady and asked if I could try them first. On the first bite, I can’t say I wanted to buy any, but I felt bad that I made her give me a free taste so I spent the 50 cents and purchased a small bag. The beetles are fried. I can’t say that they have much flavor other than what the oil and salt provides.
Pictures are below (the beetles’ wings have been removed prior to frying):