Tuesday, March 1, 2011
NO WAY, JOSE!
CNN.com just reported that U. S. Customs officers at the point of entry between Laredo, Texas and Mexico discovered two ice-chests containing 58 pounds of iguana meat mixed with masa flour belonging to a middle-aged Mexican woman. The CNN article stated "Two ingredients were missing this weekend when a mix probably meant for tamales was seized at the Texas-Mexico border: corn husks and a permit to import iguana meat."
There exists a "Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora" and also the Lacey Act, which also restricts importation of wildlife, fish and plants. Both export and import permits are required. The woman had no permits, and now the U.S. hopefully has no iguana meat.
Take a look at that iguana? Does it look edible to you? Even stripped of its skin? No way, Jose. Possibly it is an acquired taste, but I am not going to acquire it. I do love tamales, but to think of eating an iguana tamale is enough to cause one's gag reflex to work overtime.
I admit to being a very cautious eater, and the possibility of ingesting an iguana tamale, or a tongue taco, or something else of that nature is enough to make me swear off all meat. Better safe than sorry, I believe.
I feel the same way about snails. Call them escargot if you want; to me a snail is a snail is a snail. People who eat them swear by them and gush over the garlicky sauce surrounding them. I have a granddaughter who as a little kid wouldn't let an olive or mayonnaise touch her mouth, but she now at age 35 eats snails without batting an eyelash. I just don't get it. How can she? Didn't she pour salt on snail bodies when she was a kid to see them bubble and froth? And now she eats them? No, no. NO SNAILS and NO IGUANAS.
Living in Turkey was a cause for seeing all kinds of strange edible things, such as this display of skinned sheep heads that I met in an Izmir market. Now I understand that other cultures use various parts of animals in culinary ways that are foreign to us middle-of-the road American housewives, and it's just because we don't usually see them in the markets that it seems so gross. Nevertheless, you're not going to catch me eating heads of anything.
I won't eat iguana, snails, sheep heads, sheep eyes, monkey brains, blood pudding, raw oysters, haggis, steak and kidney pie, prawn heads, crabs' dead men fingers, bull fries, turkey fries, alligator, crab legs or ..... well, I'm close to talking myself into being a vegetarian, but probaby for all the wrong reasons.
How can people eat these kinds of things, moral issues aside? It's enough to make an ordinary person hurl.