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Grasshoppers stand guard in Mexico City

October 29, 2008 |  9:24 am


One of the many stone chapulines, or grasshoppers, that stand guard around Mexico City's main park, the Bosque de Chapultepec, this morning.

The word chapultepec means "hill of grasshoppers" in Nahuatl (see Wikipedia entry), one of Mexico's ancient languages originating from the Aztecs. History books say that the park was originally a refuge for wandering Aztecs before it became a place of residence for Aztec nobles.

Grasshoppers are a signature food in Mexican states such as Oaxaca, where they're toasted and then doused with chili, garlic and lemon.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City

Photo: Deborah Bonello / Los Angeles Times