Thursday, March 18, 2010


My buddy Jim reports from Canaveral National Seashore, Cape Canaveral, Florida.:

Here's something you don't see every day. Armadillos are not blind, but they do have poor eyesight. If you are close to an armadillo, and you stay quiet and stand still, the chances of it not noticing you are there are fairly good. We approached this one on the road. It did not see me or know I was there until I was about three feet away.

It may seem like an odd question, but the answer is “Yes”. In many areas of Central and South America, armadillo meat is often used as part of an average diet. Armadillo meat is a traditional ingredient in Oaxaca, Mexico. I have heard that some peoples of South America keep small varieties of armadillos as edible housepets. During the Depression, armadillos were often eaten by hungry people. They were called “Hoover Hogs” by people angry with then-President Herbert Hoover’s broken promise of a chicken in every pot. The meat is said to taste like fine-grained, high-quality pork.

I have seen several online recipes for armadillo, and I have been told that armadillo meat is an acceptable substitute for pork, chicken, or beef in many dishes. (I have not yet had an opportunity to dine on armadillo myself, so I can&38217; say personally whether this is true.) If you have access to armadillo meat, don’t be afraid to try it, but you should make sure that the meat is cooked thoroughly to avoid the possibility of contracting a disease. Armadillos are known to carry leprosy, and although the incidence level is fairly low in most regions there is still a risk of transmission if the meat is undercooked.

When I was at Florida Ranger Camp down in Eglin Air Force Base, these little rascals were all over the place. They get underfoot; it's almost as if they are tame.

No, I haven't eaten one. I didn't know they were edible, although I can guarantee you that I was so hungry at that time that if I'd known, I'd have been feasting on the little rascals . . .

- S.L.



  1. Growing up around San Antonio as much as anywhere I grew up, iffin' I did, I learned of them as "Possum on the half-shell" about the same time as I found out squirrel was tasty. It's not gator but it ain't bad. On a happy odd yummy animal to eat note, it seems TPWD is liberalizing gator hunting some more. Better than possum on half-shells, specially the jaw and tail. Bon appletites!

  2. Oh, one other thing, they SURE ARE EASIER TO CLEAN and cook than turtles. That half-shell angle helps a lot compared to cracking a good sized turtle.

  3. In survival school they taught us you can eat most anything that don't eat you first.
    We ate grubs, bugs, whole lotta shit. Vegie stuff is a little tricky, mostley if bites your tongue or taste bad, don't eat it.