Bug Me: San Francisco Helps Pioneer Insect Cuisine

SF Weekly October 19, 2011 — Mónica Martínez bills her Don Bugito food truck as a “pre-Hispanic snackeria.” A 36-year-old Mexican immigrant with high cheekbones and raven hair, Martínez doesn’t have a chef’s résumé. She studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and is, at best, a journeyman cook. Yet her fare benefits from a few authentic, and unusual, ingredients. The San Francisco resident’s tacos are built on handmade tortillas of blue corn masa, and topped with pasilla chiles and a sauce of cilantro, mint, and parsley. Then there’s the traditional element that most distinguishes her food. “The idea of Don Bugito is inspired by pre-Hispanic cuisine,” Martínez says as she rolls a moist clump of masa between her hands at La Cocina, a nonprofit organization at 25th and Folsom streets that offers commercial kitchen space and business consulting to cook-entrepreneurs. “So most of the ingredients are pre-Hispanic: peppers; tomatoes; obviously, insects.” Read more.

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