Hot sauce is generally made from simmered peppers, salt, and spices. Although every culture has its own recipe for the piquant condiment, the concoction from Venezuela’s remote Gran Sabana region boasts a particularly unique secret ingredient: small insects.
The sauce, called kumache, is a blend of yucca juice reduction, peppers, ants, and termites. While it may now be an adventurous treat for visitors, Venezuelan restaurant owner Kendall Donals told National Geographic the combo was created out of necessity.
While traveling long distances, Donal’s ancestors relied on ants and termites as a staple food source. The bugs were filling, flavorful, and could be easily unearthed from the ground with a machete. After harvesting the bugs, Venezuelans added them to hot sauce and ate the mixture with yucca bread. Today, Donals pairs kumache with roast chicken and sells the dish to tourists, who enjoy sampling the local delicacy.
Can't afford a plane ticket to South America? Check out National Geographic’s video, and decide for yourself whether you'll be serving kumache at your next barbecue or sticking with Tabasco.
[h/t National Geographic]