Jumiles are collected for their culinary value and may be roasted, fried, ground, or eaten raw. A salsa is prepared by combining fresh tomatoes, chiles and onions with jumiles that have been mashed in a molcajete. The salsa is served with corn tortillas. The beginning of the jumil season on November 1 is the occasion of a large fiesta in Taxco. Fiesta-goers gather in the mountain park of Huisteco to collect jumiles and to crown a Jumil Queen. Jumiles are plentiful from November until February and become scarce after the first rains.
Jumiles have a cinnamon-like odor. They are considered an acquired taste due to their high iodine content, which imparts a bitter, medicinal flavor. Jumiles are also a good source of tryptophan and the vitamins riboflavin and niacin.
Chumiles are a smaller, similar hemipteran of the same region (southern Morelos and northern Guerrero) which is used for food as well. Both jumiles and chumiles are insects of the order Hemiptera and family Pentatomidae. Pentatomids are commonly called "stink bugs" in English.
In the Globe Trekker TV travelogue episode "Ultimate Mexico", Justine Shapiro is shown eating a live jumil. Andrew Zimmern can also be seen eating jumiles on his television show Bizarre Foods, where he claims they taste just like tutti-frutti chewing gum.
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