A bowl of sal de gusano with orange slices and a glass of mezcal
What Is Sal De Gusano (Worm Salt) And How Do You Use It?
Sal de gusano, or “worm salt,” is a traditional Mexican seasoning made of ground insects, chilies, and salt. It has a unique flavor profile that is umami-rich, spicy, and smoky.
The seasoning’s taste is often compared to fried fish skin or crispy pork skin (chicharrones). It's typically enjoyed with mezcal, a Mexican spirit distilled from agave plants.
The "worms" in sal de gusano are agave-eating moth larvae known as chinicuiles (red or pink) and meocuiles (white). Farming them is labor intensive, as it’s mostly done by hand.
After being sun-dried, roasted, or toasted, the larvae are ground with salt and chilies. Sal de gusano flavors vary according to the type of worm used and the agave it has eaten.
Beyond its traditional pairing with mezcal, you can use the salt’s unique smoky taste to enhance the flavor of fruits, vegetables, snacks, and even cocktails.
Sal de gusano's unusual flavor has captured the attention of food enthusiasts worldwide, and its growing popularity has led to it being widely available in supermarkets.