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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"They Actually Eat That:" Armadillo.

For those of you who do not watch my Twitter or dA, I will be in Texas until Saturday. The next few days will thus be related, in some way, shape, or form, to the Lone Star State. What better way to kick this off than with Texas's state mammal, the armadillo?

Wait. This is Wednesday. Do people really eat armadillo?

Answer: Yep. Armadillos, aside from looking a little bit like crazy reptilian mammals, are available year-round, fairly low on the food chain, and legal to hunt everywhere. They range from the lower half of the U.S. into South America, so if you live anywhere near there, there's probably an armadillo into your backyard. And, yes, armadillos are eaten throughout their range.



Armadillos have been eaten since at least the days of the pioneers. They have been eaten by Florida Crackers for at least 100 years. Armadillo is also very popular in Argentina. Cook them just like you would any other meat; frying is better for smaller armadillos, and slow-cooking works more for larger ones.

There are two ways to get armadillo meat. One, as you probably guessed, is to trap a little armored one yourself. Regular animal traps work, but if you wanna be a pro, stick a six-inch PVC pipe into a burrow and wait for the armadillo to get stuck in it. Alternatively, armadillos can also be farm-raised...on CORN.

One of the most ridiculous rumors surrounding armadillo meat is that it can give you leprosy. This is not entirely unfounded, but still rather silly. Armadillos are the only mammals besides humans that can get leprosy, and hey, they're pretty scaly for mammals.  Still, armadillos rarely have leprosy, and if the meat is handled properly, you have no chance of getting it.

That said, if I see armadillo on the menu down here, this post will be updated. There are a million restaurants on the San Antonio riverwalk, and I'd bet money that one of them has armadillo. I'll be sure to let you all know where I find it!


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