Iguana: It’s what’s for lunch

After seeing it in the mangroves and being teased on the Cozumel Saltwater Nature Cruise about eating it, I had to have me some Iguana. Now, one might be thinking that Andrew Zimmern ate it, so it’s no big deal. Well, if you’ve ever seen one of these giant reptiles up close and personal, you would think otherwise. Since I was already denied once in Costa Rica, I would not be denied again.

A few days later, redemption would be mine upon taking the Hike at Roatan, Honduras. Our guide, Will, knew where I could get some. In addition to his tip, I offered to pay for his meal upon feasting on this lizard. I start salivating as I pondered what color I would eat. Rustic, red, green, marine? No blue iguana here, shucks. Male or female?


Serial polygamists. Pictured above: male green iguana

After a 4 mile hike up and down the side of a mountain, I was starving. The last thing on my mind was bones. For the love of all that’s Holy, no bones please! We curved through some side roads and street vendor booths catered towards tourists. Towards the back of the road a few blocks back was our destination. My eyes lit up as I was elated…

Will (above) confirmed this place had iguana in stock and we made our way upstairs to dine al fresco. A round of Margaritas were ordered as we shot the bull. 10 minutes later, our dish was ready. What did I get? Yup, you guessed it. An iguana dish full of bones. At first bite, I immediately got a hint of bitterness. I was informed that was iguana skin I was biting into. Upon sifting through the bones and getting to the meat, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Yes, I tasted coconut, but the texture was all too familiar. Why was my dish red? Paprika perhaps?

My man Will informed us that the red was from achiote. Thanks Will, for I would have never guessed that. The texture? TURKEY. Yes, it tasted like that fowl you all come to love during Thanksgiving feasts. Well, the dark meat anyway. We were told we would be eating either rustic or green iguana. I will never know its gender, but it was damn tasty.

Some of you might be saying, “I call BS, dude. Pics or it’s not true”. For those that are skeptical about my courage, wonder no more. I can’t wait to try other preparations of this dish in different countries. Muy delicioso, especially paired w/ pickled onions and hot peppers! The 10 bucks was totally worth it!

More pics after the jump

DISCUSS: Would you ever eat Iguana? Why or why not?

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