EST. 2010

Taste of the Caribbean: Iguana Stew

Iguanan "Leave Me Alone"

Patrick Bennett

  • 1 live Iguana
  • 1 large Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 3 Tomatoes
  • 2 Green Peppers
  • 4 teaspoon Achiote Oil
  • 1 pinch Pepper
  • Salt — To Taste

The handsome devil pictured above may not look like much of a meal to you or me, but in Guyana, Trinidad, and other parts of the Caribbean he’s a delicacy. No really, I’m serious.

One of our Guyanese friends living in South Florida was going to cook one up for us to prove it, but she claims that all the iguanas near her house died during our unusually cold winter. Of course, she said this while fighting back a wry smile and wistfully rubbing her belly, so you be the judge of what really happened to all the SoFla iguanas.

Anyway, here’s how you turn handsome lizards into hearty fare:

Make the achiote oil by frying the achiote slowly until the oil is red. Kill the iguana by cutting off its head. Open the belly lengthwise and remove all the entrails. Cook in salted water until the meat is tender (take care not to let it get too soft). Peel and cut in portions. Season with all the above ingredients and cook with about 1 cup water, until almost dry.

So, the question is how does it taste? We’re still waiting for our first bowl, but if you’ve tried iguana stew, or any other iguana meal, leave a comment and let us know.

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