As a fine dining connoisseur, I am always looking for new restaurants of cuisines to try. While looking for something new and exotic to try, I stumbled upon this article, which appears fits the bill. Puerto Rico is solving their invasive iguana problem through fine dining.
Puerto Rico has been overrun with green iguanas. These animals have caused numerous problems on the island’s ecosystem and economy. The green iguanas are native to Central and South AMerica, but that is not the case for the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. There they are an invasive species in every sense of the term.
The green iguana has no natural predators on the island, which has allowed their numbers to climb dramatically over the last several years. These animals have made it extremely difficult for Puerto Rican farmers by overtaking their farms and eating their crops.
Puerto Rico has now begun to respond to the problem by selling the green iguana meat as a delicacy.
Eating iguanas is common practice and part of the local diets throughout Central and South America. Furthermore, the meat typically sells for about $6 a pound in the United States. A large portion of the iguana meat sold in the United States actually comes from Puerto Rico. Currently, Puerto Rico’s health department has not approved iguana meat for sale, however, it is legal in the United States as long as it has been processed in an FDA-approved facility.
Currently, Puerto Rican culture is “more adverse to eating reptiles than the Central and South American countries.” Proponents of iguana meat are trying to change this negative perception and promote iguana as a food.
Iguana meat is a lean and high in protein. Chefs familiar with the meat say that it actually smells like fish, feels like check, looks like read meat.
This is certainly an interesting solution to solving the issue of a growing iguana population as it helps solve the issue for Puerto Rican farmers and it gives fine dining lovers a new dish to experience.
Thankfully for Puerto Rico, Iguana meat continues to grow in popularity throughout the United States, as you can see in the video below.