In some world regions, reptiles are considered a delicacy. Many people have heard of edible options like alligator steaks. However, fewer individuals realize that a significant concentration of subjects enjoy feasting on iguana meat.
Also labeled green or common, iguanas are amongst the largest lizards found in the Western Hemisphere that could weigh in at as much as 11 pounds. Typically, these creatures are found in warm, tropical climates like those common to Latin American nations like Brazil and Mexico, in addition to many countries situated in the Caribbean Sea. Surprisingly, however, iguanas are also the most popular lizard kept as pets in the United States.
The well-known lizard’s flesh is a staple in Latin America and the Caribbean region. Moreover, iguana dishes are often considered a delicacy in such places.
Iguana Meat Nutrition Facts
Iguana meat is said to contain high concentrations of numerous important proteins and is relatively low in potentially harmful substances like fat. Additionally, the populations of global regions that have consumed the product for extended durations opine that this lizard’s flesh possesses a plethora of health benefits, including:
- Boosted muscle and bone mass
- Increased energy
- Enhanced libido
- Strengthened immune system
- Improved digestion
- Enhanced respiratory system function
Moreover, others suggest that consistent consumption of iguana can help an individual maintain a healthy weight and enjoy increased longevity.
What Does Iguana Meat Taste Like?
Regular consumers of this product opine that the texture is a bit tough and chewy. That said, however, it is said to be flavorful and taste akin to fowl birds like hens and duck.
How To Cook Iguana Meat?
Because the lizard’s body contains skin and scales, initial preparation should be in accordance with specific removal processes. Prior to eating, one must eliminate the lizard’s skin, entrails and organs so that the only remains are flesh. Once this process is complete, the meat should be thoroughly washed before any seasoning or specific cooking procedure is begun.
The lizard’s flesh is not thick. Ergo, recipes including said product is typically included in meals where the meat can first be boiled and then cut into small pieces. Common dishes featuring iguanas include stews, tacos, salads, soups and egg dishes.
Who Eats Iguana?
The animal is most widely consumed by peoples native to Central and South America, in addition to various Caribbean countries. That said, the lizard is consumed in the United States. In recent times, this reptile has populated a significant portion of the State of Florida. Ergo, certain restaurants have featured said creature’s meat in various dishes.
Where To Buy Iguana?
An iguana’s flesh is typically not available in established food stores. Such facts are true even in nations where the lizard is a delicacy. In these locations, the meat is usually purchased from street vendors. Occasionally, said product may be available at exotic food entities. In the United States, the meat might be available online or by obtaining iguanas from individuals who collect and sell them.
Is Iguana Meat Legal In The United States?
The iguana’s meat is legal to sell and consume in the United States. That said, however, imports may be subject to restriction as the lizard enjoys certain protections under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, sometimes abbreviated as the CITES Convention.