Facebook video of chef preparing a $27 tarantula taco brings EPA scrutiny in Mexico

 

A chef torches a dead red rump tarantula before adding to a taco. (Photo: México en el Paladar via Facebook)

The alleged statistic that the average person eats eight spiders a year seems dubious. The average person probably eats zero spiders a year. But customers at the México en el Paladar restaurant might be the exception. 

The restaurant, located in a Mexico City market, is finding itself in hot water after a video of a chef preparing tacos there was posted to Facebook. The tacos consist of a warm tortilla, smashed avocado, a little lime juice — and a seared Mexican red rump tarantula.

I’m not much of a cook myself, but I’m the chef is torching the already dead spider because this species of tarantula is known for the distinctive red hairs on their furry little booties. The tarantulas can eject these hairs from their abdomens at attackers, which then embed themselves into a predator’s skin and eyes, causing discomfort, as I’m sure you can imagine.

Plus, who wants to find hair in their food?

So what’s the big deal if someone wants to eat a tarantula taco for $27 a pop? Well, the red rump tarantula is actually under threat of extinction, and thus they are a protected species, so the federal Environmental Protection Agency in Mexico was compelled to investigate.


The federal agents seized four tarantula carcasses during their visit to the restaurant on Wednesday.

Still hoping to get your tarantula taco fix on your own? You may want to think twice. You shouldn’t try to touch or catch the tarantulas because they do have fangs and venom. I guess it all depends on how much you want that taco.

They apparently taste like a cross between chicken and cod.

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