May 4th marks the one-year anniversary of our opening night at Comal, and to mark the date, we will have a special delicacy on the menu that evening. Anyone who has wandered through the bustling markets of Oaxaca has heard the calls of the Chapulin vendors, standing behind baskets piled to the sky. Chapulines are the native grasshopper of Oaxaca. Traditionally, these grasshoppers are toasted on a comal with lime, garlic, agave worm salt, and sometimes chile.
Although eaten in other regions of Mexico, chapulines are so associated with Oaxaca that they are represented as the local professional soccer team’s mascot. They can either be popped in the mouth as a stand-alone snack like popcorn, or be found as the protein component of a taco, quesadilla or tlayuda. We will be serving them on memelas, along with black beans, asiento, and queso fresco.
Over the course of the last year, we have fielded many inquiries as to when these crunchy little critters would make an appearance on the menu. Mark your calendars, Saturday they drop like a biblical plague, shipped to us directly from Oaxaca.
We have one additional treat in store for Saturday night. We’ll be sending each dining guest home with a bonbon from our Berkeley neighbors at Casa de Chocolates, who make delicious handmade Latin American chocolates and other desserts. They offer a wide variety of bonbons – we’ve chosen Brazilian Sea Salt Caramel, Cajeta (like dulce de leche), Maracuya (passion fruit) and Tamarindo.