In Mexico City, a restaurant serves dishes advertised as pre-Hispanic and exotic offers diners “tarantula tacos” and “cockroaches of Madagascar.”
The unique dishes are getting a lot of attention on social media and have even prompted inspections by Mexico's regulatory agencies.
The “Mercado de San Juan” in the heart of Mexico City offers a "tarantula tacos" dish for about $500 Mexican pesos, the equivalent of about $26.
Investigators with the country's federal environmental protection agency inspected the restaurant after video of the exotic treats began circulating on social networks.
The online social media video promoted the tarantula tacos dish.
PROFEPA (the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection), Mexico’s environmental protection agency, inspected the restaurant and found four dead red tarantulas. The agency confiscated the specimens when the restaurant could not provide documentation proving the legal origin of the spiders, the agency confirmed in a written statement.
The spiders are considered an endangered species.
The restaurant was advertising the “Mexican redknee tarantulas,” as being “flamed and golden” and ready for eating, the agency confirmed.
But that’s not all. The poison of the spider is also the main ingredient in a popular drink the restaurants serves.
The eatery serves other dishes labeled as exotic, including cockroaches of Madagascar, white worms, grasshoppers, scorpions, cocopache (another type of cockroach), and chicatanas, which are flying ants long enjoyed as food in Oaxaca.
The “Mercado de San Juan” also offers guests deer, ostrich, buffalo and wild boar.