Home Gastronomy Ten rare animals that are edible!

Ten rare animals that are edible!

La gastronomy it is one of the differentiating pillars of each culture. Each country has its typical dishes, with completely different characteristics and ways of eating. There are countries where its inhabitants like to enjoy a good plate with a knife and fork, in others they prefer chopsticks or even in some they dare with their hands. But also in ingredients used lies the difference between some and other nations, with certain extravagant cases that lead us to talk about the rare animals that are edible. Be amazed!

1. Puffer fish

El sashimi fugu or puffer fish It is a real delicatessen in Japan. Nevertheless, in Spain it is prohibited its consumption, since it is the most toxic fish in the world. In fact, they compare its poison to cyanide or strychnine.

Not all Japanese chefs can cook a puffer fish, they need authorization from the Government. To be able to manipulate a fugu, three years of learning are necessary, with exams and practices. The most poisonous parts are the liver and ovaries, so they must be carefully removed so as not to contaminate the rest of the meat. The toxin it contains can cause death by suffocation of the person who ingests it. How the Japanese play with this fish! Would you try it?

Blowfish sashimi
Blowfish sashimi

2. Insects: from the ant to the tarantula

Insects are one of the most exotic culinary curiosities, although in the West we do not finish giving the final approval while their consumption is growing. One of those that are gaining more fame are the ants. According to Scott Booth, a client of Pantry Paratus, each type of ant has a flavorThere are some that taste like lemon, others have a bittersweet taste and there are some with a bitter nutty flavor, such as carpenter ants.

Ants are one of the rarest edible animals, but in some areas of Latin America or Asia we can find them in markets. In Colombia they consider the culona ant a delicacy that is eaten as a snack or in meatballs and purees. There are really more and more insects that are eaten as a delight. Beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, cockroaches ... So until you get to the tarantula, typical of Thailand. 

Women selling edible insects in Cambodia
Women selling edible insects in Cambodia

3. Dolphin

In Japan the consumption of dolphins is common also, although the way to capture them generates a lot of controversy. Until 1989, dolphin meat was also fished and sold in Taiwán, But it was prohibited in order to protect the marine biodiversity. Despite restrictions, dolphin meat often arrives from Japan labeled as whale meat, which is sold more expensively.

Also, dolphin croquettes are openly sold at meat stalls in street markets. If you are intrigued by this topic of dolphin consumption, we recommend the documentary 'The Cove'. It explains what the annual dolphin hunt is like in Taiji National Park, Japan.


4. Gorilla

A kilo of gorilla meat can cost up to 32.000 euros in Europe. Although the place where it is most consumed, and not at such a high price, is in the Republic of Congo. In cities like Pointe Noire it is sold in the markets despite being illegal.

It is one of the rarest edible animals that we can find, without a doubt, within the mammalian species. La poaching of these primates has caused the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to include it in its Red List

5. Armadillo

Those who have tried it assure that the armadillo tastes like chicken, but eating it can have serious consequences. In 2011, a group of American researchers discovered that this animal could carrying the microorganism causing leprosy in your liver.

En Brazil It is common to consume armadillo, so Brazilian researchers decided to find the relationship between this infectious disease and the consumption of the animal in the country. The study concluded that the 62% of the armadillos were exposed to the bacteria. This could explain why Brazil is the second country in the world with the most leprosy patients in the world - after India - according to the World Health Organization (WHO).


6. Reptiles: crocodile and snake

Do you know that in Spain you could eat a grilled python or crocodile stew? What you read! In places like Asia or Australia crocodile meat is considered a delicacy, where they say that its flavor is a mixture of fish and chicken. In some European countries such as Belgium it is easy to find a crocodile, although it faces numerous difficulties due to the necessary sanitary regulations.

The snake can be cooked in many ways: boiled, roasted, fried ... We may not be used to it, but there are many recipes with snakes. In Shanghai snakes are part of its culinary tradition and it is very common to find them both in restaurants and in street stalls.


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7. Elephant

Elephant meat is all the rage in Thailand, which is jeopardizing the survival of the species. A very popular dish is sashimi elephant, where raw meat is served.

It seems that of the gigantic pachyderm you can take advantage of almost everything, from the tubes to the genitals, the two most coveted areas. Some Asian folk legends say that eating animal reproductive organs can stimulate sexual vigor. 


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8. Turtle

In many cultures such as American or Chinese sea ​​turtles are considered a delicacy. Despite being illegal to eat these animals in many countries, it is successful on the black market. Although not only is their meat eaten, but eggs are another highly coveted treasure.

One of the most common dishes made with meat from turtle is the soup, also in the western world. In some cookbooks of United States Soups made from green turtle appear from the XNUMXth century. Today we can find this dish in some restaurants in the Delaware Valley or New Orleans.

In Asian countries they tend to eat soft-shelled turtle soup, of which they take advantage of even the viscera. Instead, the hard-shelled ones are used to make Guilinggao, a Chinese medicine. We can also find it in the form of gelatin, served as a dessert.

9. Bat

The consumption of bats has been one of the most discussed topics in 2020. One of the most repeated hypotheses - although not for that reason with more scientific support - is that the coronavirus pandemic was triggered by the ingestion of bat soup in China.

The places where the bat is most consumed are Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Guam. Bat meat can be cooked roasted, fried or in stews and is sold mainly in street markets.


10. Pangolin

El pangolin is a curious edible animal, the world's only mammal with scales and the most trafficked. It is another of the names that have sounded guilty of the origin of Covid-19, although its commercialization has been prohibited in more than 180 countries since 2016.

It is usually prepared in soup or grilled. Its meat is considered a delicacy in Southeast Asia and its scales are believed to have magical healing properties. This causes about 100.000 specimens to be poached each year.

Would you dare to try some of these rare edible animals? With some you should be very careful and make sure that they are in optimal conditions for consumption. Others hide practices that are illegal in his capture, while the insects they are postulated as an important ingredient in the diet of the future. Do you see yourself eating ants or spiders in a few years?