I'm a firm believer in trying the local and exotic dishes of the places that I travel to. Even though I'm a pescatarian, that has never stopped me from trying once-in-a-lifetime foods, meat and all.
While in Nicaragua, Byron, my Vive Travels tour guide, insisted that I try anaconda. He told me he knew of a restaurant in a very rural area where I could try a number of different exotic meats. I wasn't too thrilled at the sound of that, but since he made it out to seem like it was a popular local spot, I couldn't pass up the opportunity.
Instead of walking through the front door of the restaurant, Byron took me around back to sit outside. As I stepped in, I saw a caged anaconda that actually had its teeth stuck in the cage from trying to attack the previous passerby. I steered clear of that cage...wondering if that was going to be my lunch.
Byron suggested that I sit at a table in the corner that was positioned on a hill and overlooked a river. I looked over the rail to the river and saw a crocodile in the river. At this point, I was convinced that coming to this place was worth it. How many times do I get to sit and eat with such ferocious company?
I decided to explore more of the restaurant's "backyard" and came across an animal I didn't want to see. The place had about five cages of monkeys (mind you, I love monkeys). That's when I started to feel really bad about being there. I picked up some nuts and held my hand slightly in the cage so the monkeys could grab them. They were so gentle and playful. I wasn't surprised to later see that they were listed on the menu.
If you've come to the conclusion that every animal that's caged in the restaurant is on the menu, you're correct.
I ordered a platter that came with the three meats available that day; anaconda, rabbit and iguana. I ate all of the sides and only had a bite of each of the meats. Here's my take on them: The rabbit tasted like chicken, the iguana didn't have a distinctive taste and the anaconda was very, very chewy. I'm glad I tried these local dishes, but I won't be having them again!
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