San Gil, Colombia

Hormigas Culonas, which aptly translates to ‘Ants With A Large Arse’, is a Colombian snack that’s only available in the Santander region of the country, and only within a small time frame. The thing is, the ants only come out of their nesting ground for 1 or 2 days out of the year – thus the rarity and the relatively high price tag (1 kg = 50-60000 COP)

We’re lucky that we got to the Santander region during the time (April – May) when these ants are widely available.

When I first heard about it, I couldn’t wait to try it. I also couldn’t wait to try to get Jack to eat it. See, he’s somewhat of a finicky eater so it should be fun to try to cajole and bribe him to try it. So I was super excited that when we mentioned this to our couchsurfing host in San Gil, he brought out a bottle of these toasted giant ants.

A bottle of Hormigas Culonas

However, I was somewhat disappointed when it didn’t take that much convincing at all for Jack to try it ( he wouldn’t eat mushroom, but he’d eat THAT?) Sometimes he surprises me.

Jack eating an Hormigas Culonas


‘It’s just like eating the shell of a peanut. Salty and crunchy,’ he said.
‘Like eating a pork rind,’ a fellow Couchsurfer added.

Then it was my turn.

Jill vs A Hormiga Culona

Jill vs A Hormiga Culona

Even though you’ll never hear me eat snake heart, balut, and other challenging world delicacies, I knew I could handle an ant. Everybody and their aunts seems to have a story about eating ants as part of their traveling experience. So, hey, I can do this too.

I picked up an Hormiga Culona and placed it on my palm. Then I peered in to take a closer look at it.

Big mistake.

An up close and personal Hormiga Culona

An up close and personal Hormiga Culona

It just looked too much like an ant (why can’t they roll it up in dough or something like that?).

And it’s just so big.

Then I realized that I was holding a giant insect. A dead, giant insect. And oh wait, don’t I hate bugs? I do hate bugs. Aaaaaarggggh!

I got all squeamish and handed the thing over quickly to Jack (being aware at how expensive it is I didn’t want to just fling it to the air and to oblivion like I originally wanted to). I couldn’t even hold it even more.

This is now the part where I hung my head in shame and admitted that I couldn’t do it.

I’d scale a mountain and brave a harsh Alaskan landscape, but there is no way I’d put an insect – fat-assed or not – in my mouth. I’m not that kind of person.

I’ll stick with ice cream.

Colombian 'cholado' - a heavenly concoction of fruit, ice cream, and condensed milk

Colombian 'cholado' - a heavenly concoction of fruit, ice cream, and condensed milk

Hope you’d forgive me.

Tell us

What’s the most adventurous things you’ve eaten? How about the most adventurous thing you’ve almost eaten?