Sunday, June 26, 2011

Smuggling and eating iguanas

A song came to mind when I contemplated blogging about a recent border confiscation.* Remember Wall of Voodoo's "Mexican Radio" and its lyrics about eating barbecued iguana? Well, the table was the likely destination of 159lbs of iguana meat (1st image) seized at the San Diego-Mexico border on June 7th. "There could be a number of reasons but one of the main ones that comes to mind is that there are parts of the world where people do eat iguana meat as a delicacy," said spokeswoman Jackie Wasiluk. According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection press release, an unnamed 37-year-old man attempted to smuggle the raw meat - worth upwards of $25/lb - hidden beneath fish in 3 coolers in his vehicle. The lizard meat was confiscated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the man was charged with violating the Convention on International Trade of endangered species. The meat is stewed or roasted in traditional Mexican dishes, with green iguana preferred over the black iguana. The 58lbs of meat seized from a female bus passenger at the Texas-Mexico border in March of this year had already been mixed with masa in preparation for making tamales. While the fate of 400 live iguanas intercepted in Guatemala City in 2007 was less certain, 3/4 of the animals (2nd image) had already died. There is no lack of recipes for iguana on the web. As you might suspect, iguana is described as having similar taste characteristics to chicken.

*Apologies to my sister and brother-in-law, once proud owners of a 6' iguana named Elvis, for today's topic.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that iguana recipe is interesting... I'm kinda glad the instructions for making chicken wings don't start with "after you chop the chicken's head off, dip in boiling water and pluck".


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