- The Plate
Deforestation Threatens Peru’s Food System, Environment
Biting the head off a four-inch grub comes with a unique set of challenges.
These wrinkly white insects—offspring of the Rhynchophorus palmarum beetle—have viscous guts the consistency of melted butter and stringy skin that sticks in your teeth like cooked celery. In the rainforest cities of Peru, locals call this grub suri and consider it a delicacy.
As an after-dinner snack one evening, I purchased a couple from a street vendor, their plump bodies impaled on a skewer along with two lightly fried chunks of plantain. Severing head from body is a process best avoided on a date night. Upon first bite, I only succeeded in popping the succulent pouch and dribbling oil all over my shirt. Then a chunk of suri wedged itself between two