Definition of Jumiles
The word Jumiles comes from the Nahuatl language Xomilli. They are small stink bugs native to the region of Taxco, in the state of Guerrero, Mexico. They feed on oak leaves. Any edible hemiptera of the families Coreidae or Pentatomidae can also be considered jumiles.
SYNONYMS FOR Jumiles
- Stink bugs
- Mountain bugs
- Xomilli (in Nahuatl)
ORIGIN OF Jumiles
Jumiles, chinches or xotlinilli are the names given in Mexico to several species of edible Hemiptera insects of the Pentatomidae family. They measure a little less than one centimeter. They are consumed mainly in the states of Morelos and Guerrero. These insects have a characteristic cinnamon flavor from the stems and leaves of the oak trees on which they feed.
In Taxco and other parts of Mexico they are eaten alive. However, as part of the Eurocentric view that ignores insect cuisine, jumil was scorned in Mexican “haute cuisine”, and even in the Encyclopedia of Mexico they are described as having a “fetid odor” and “oily and pungent taste”. Contemporary research confirms that jumil has analgesic and anesthetic properties. In pre-Hispanic times they were collected for the feast of the dead.
CURIOSITIES OF Jumiles
Jumiles are harvested for their culinary value and can be roasted, fried, ground or eaten raw. The sauce is prepared by combining fresh tomatoes, chiles and onions with crushed jumiles in a molcajete. The sauce is served with corn tortillas.
The beginning of the jumiles season, on November 1, is usually the reason for a big party in Taxco. Revelers gather in the Huasteco mountain park to collect jumiles and crown the Queen of the Jumil. Jumiles are plentiful from November to February and become scarce after the first rains.