UPDATE: I’m told that, in Puerto Rico, iguanas are sometimes called “gallinas de palo,” reinforcing my hypothesis that they taste like chicken. Also, that name has made my day, and makes me hope it gets canned like Chicken of the Sea.
I sometimes go out of my way to eat weird animals. I’ve eaten alligator, ostrich heart, kangaroo steak, and in Ecuador, I ate cuy I bought from a street vendor – that’s guinea pig, to the uninitiated. This latest news from Puerto Rico has me very excited.
You see, iguanas aren’t native to Puerto Rico, but there sure are a lot of them. In fact, there’s more iguanas than people on the island. They’re an introduced species that screws with the native wildlife and the native people.
“This is a very big problem. We have to attack it,” said Daniel Galan Kercado, secretary of PR’s Department of Natural Resources, “It has impacted structures, the economy, crops and the ecosystem.”
Luckily for Puerto Rico, which is suffering from its current economic situation, there is (apparently) a high demand for iguana meet in United States Latino and Asian communities, and it can go for up to $6 a pound. Residents of Puerto Rico will be trained to capture live iguanas and bring them to processing sites for slaughter and export.
Sign me up.