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Venezuela. Kumachi Ant Sauce

By Scott Bowers

Putting kumachi on the pizza

Yes! I will have more ants

temites used to make kumachi

I took a trip to Venezuela with intent to visit the Amazon in order to eat all of the tasty grubs and spiders that are commonly eaten by the Yanomami Indians. Alas, the jungle was a bit too far out of the way for such a short trip. But all was not lost, as I found myself in Southeastern Venezuela with the Pemon Indians. A popular condiment in that part of Venezuela is a sauce made from very hot peppers and termites. It is available at just about any restaurant in the area. Make sure that you ask for kumachi "con hormigas" (with ants) or else you might get the ant-free version that they give to tourists. I tried some on my pizza, and the taste can be described only as very hot. Some people claimed that the ants are merely a colorant, but I could taste a subtle difference between the ant-free and ant-full sauces.

I decided that I needed some kumachi for home use, and after asking several people, I found a shop in San Francisco de Yuriani that sold the kumachi con hormigas. The nice lady at the counter asked me, "queres mas hormigas?"

"Por Supuesto," said I. And she added another spoonful of termites to my jar.

Word on the street is that another sauce, similar to kumachi, can be found in other parts of Venezuela. This sauce is known as Kitara. You might try the Andes region for this variation.

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