A wrinkled gentleman in a cowboy hat admonished me for taking photos of an unknowing man working. I explained to him that I was going to write this piece about Chicatana season. The man said ¡Chicatanas! I thought he was picking up trash. This was probably the first time I knew something before a local, much less a seasoned local. I was proud and showed him a photo of the group I’d found under a tree.

Farther along the path, a man and his son saw me stooped to take a photo of one. Before they could inform me I said: “Chicatana.” They said yes and told be about the delicious ways to prepare them after first killing them on a hot comal. They are ground into a dark spicy salsa or a yellow mole that can be put over tamales.

The man told me this morning’s harvest due to a heavy rain from 6-7AM is nothing. If I get it two or three more days, I can have a grand supply!


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