Sal de gusano, which translates literally as “worm salt,” is a flavorful condiment made with a mixture of salt, ground chiles, and—yes—powdered worm. After trying it recently, I thought it was so great I started a thread about it. The savory, umami flavor is reminiscent of mushroom or truffles: rich and complex, meaty and delicious. I can see it working well with tequilas and cocktails, and being added to dishes the same way you might add truffle salt (which is to say, if you want a deep bass flavor to dominate the dish).

It can be hard to come by in the States; even in Mexico, kare_raisu had to cajole the owner of a restaurant in Guadalajara into letting him buy a small packet of his dwindling supply. “How enamored I was of the stuff,” he says. He’s since found a source in Tijuana.

kirinraj was given a small bottle by the proprietress of a Oaxacan grocery store in San Jose. “It truly is excellent on mangoes, melon, and peaches/nectarines,” says kirinraj. “If I’m not mistaken I think it’s sea salt ground with chile pasilla Oaxaqueño and dried gusanos.”

geekyfoodie likes it as an accompaniment to mezcal, along with fresh orange wedges: “That umami flavor is great and contrasts well with the quasi-herbal flavor of the mezcal.”

“Chances are, if the Oaxacans eat it, it must be great,” says Eat_Nopal. “There should be more Sal de Gusano in the world … makes fleur de sel look like some wussy french thing.”

Board Link: Gusano - Worm Salt

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