Pronunciation guide: cha-poo-lee-nez
Another word that derives from the Nahuatl language, chapulines are grasshoppers and are commonly eaten in parts of Mexico. In more recent years chapulines have been touted as one of the most sustainable food sources in the world, though they have been a staple in southern Mexico for centuries. They are often dried and toasted and flavored with lime juice, garlic, and sometimes chili, making for a protein-rich, low-fat, savory, earthy, and crunchy snack, not unlike a bowl of dried shrimp. They can be eaten alone such as at sporting events, but chapulines are also often sprinkled into tacos, tostadas, and even pizza, as demonstrated at a new restaurant in Detroit.
Pronunciation guide: tah-ko aar-ah-bez
Mexicans and Middle Easterners have long held a culinary connection, dating back to the days when Lebanese immigrants introduced shawarma spits (known as a “trompo” in Spanish) to Mexico. One distinct dish that showcases this connection is the taco árabes, utilizing flavorful slices of pork from a spit and stuffing it into a pillowy, pita-like tortilla. One major distinction, instead of being stuffed into a thin, more pliable corn tortilla, taco árabes are make with a thicker, almost pita-like bread. Do not mistake this for the more familiar taco al pastor, which is loosely translated to “shepherd-style” pork. The meat is marinated in a blend of chilies, spices, and flecks of pineapple and then slow-cooked on that trompo using an open flame.