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Nov 28, 2006 08:25 PM


im away in mexico and have been invited to eat with a family in Oaxaca.. they are going to prepare some local dishes including iguana.. what should i expect, is it safe to eat the meat?

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  1. So long as it is cooked, it is fine. The real issue will be
    if you are squeamish about it. Tastes like chicken.

    3 Replies
      1. re: babette feasts


        The sell lizard at a local Salvadoran joint. Everyone says it DOES taste like chicken. It is called garrobo.

        Here's a review from a food critic that tried it.

        "Then there was consomme de garrobo, identified as iguana soup by a tiny photo of a lizard floating over the bowl. Did you know that iguana really does taste just like chicken? No joke: I kept trying to come up with descriptive words for the chunks of pale-pink meat at the bottom of my bowl ... I'd order it again. (Eco-foodies will be happy to know that iguana is farmed these days -- "ranched," actually -- across Central America, and often sustainably so"

        It is supposed to be good for the libido too.

        1. re: rworange

          It tastes like chicken, but the texture of the muscle structure tends a bit toward the flakiness of fish (imagine firm-fleshed catfish, or carp). As a reptile, sort of similar to rattlesnake, and lighter than turtle.

          And as with raw chicken, make sure your iguana is fully cooked, because they harbor salmonella. Avoid Iguana sashimi. So, if Iguana is purported to be featured meat, and you see some wasabi and pickled ginger being brought to the table, you'd better get your guard up.

          On a related reptilian note, we must not forget the food theme in Broderick/Brando's 1990 "The Freshman", where a banquet of Kimodo dragon is planned but finally thwarted.

          Wow... if Iguana is supposed to be good for the libido, I cannot even imagine the libidinous legends that must exist around the Kimodo.

    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. My son spent quite some time in Panama where iguana is very highly prized for food. In fact, when we visited him there we rarely saw an iguana in the wild because they've been hunted to near obliteration. We actually witnessed a guy stop a car - in the middle of the road - and run across a field to catch an iguana he saw while he was driving (it got away hahaha). Anyway, my son says he ate iguana and it was absolutely delicious. This from a staunch, committed, animal-loving environmentalist. I think chicken was the comparison he made.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Nyleve

          In Panama, any wild game is food for the family table, from iguana to snakes, to sloths to primates. I was riding a bus to work in Balboa one day and the bus driver skidded to a stop so he could pick up some roadkill and take it home for dinner.

        2. If you've read A Cook's Tour by Anthony Bourdain, you'll remember that his usually unflappable palate was really stumped by iguana while in Mexico. I think it was iguana tamales, and he thought they were gross.

          3 Replies
          1. re: frenetica

            I thought of Bourdain immediately, too, but from his TV show. After eating a bite of iguana tamal, he said he wanted to dip his head in a bucket of lye, or something like that.

            1. re: ricepad

              Didn't he say it was a really oooold pet iguana, though? Maybe they're good young?

              Not for me though - no reptiles on my plate. Just a bias. Hopefully not a bad one.

            2. re: frenetica

              No one said there wasn't bad cooks in Mexico... must have been a bad version. The meat itself can be quite succulent & makes a damn good Red Mole.