Puerto Rico: The night of the iguana

… and the morning and the afternoon, too:

To Battle Iguanas, Puerto Rico Has New Plan: Put Them on Menu
Overrun With Reptiles, Island Hopes To Export Their Meat; Corralling the Catch

Some genius introduced iguanas in Puerto Rico in the 1970s for people to keep as pets. Not.A.Good.Thing. Apparently there are now over 4 million iguanas in the island, outnumbering automobiles and humans, and they’re a huge nuisance. Iguanas chewing on electrical lines caused a power outage at Plaza las Américas (the largest shopping mall in Puerto Rico, and possibly in all of the Caribbean islands) a few months ago.

If you want to survive in the Isla del encanto (enchanted island), learn this: never get between a Puerto Rican and her retail therapy.

Hence, the iguanas’ goose is cooked

There isn’t much appetite for iguanas in Puerto Rico, but the meat is popular in other countries, Mr. Galán Kercadó says. Puerto Rico hopes to gather iguanas up, slaughter them and export the meat to countries in Latin America, Asia and elsewhere with a taste for the lizards. Not only will this help rid Puerto Rico of a problem, Mr. Galán Kercadó says, but it could create jobs too.

Unlike Puerto Ricans, who consider the creatures a pest, many Central Americans go gaga for iguana. They eat it roasted and in stews. They use its oil to treat rheumatism and bruises. Some even consume it in the hope of increasing their sex drive, according to a recent U.S. government report on the reptiles.

Asians, too, believe iguana meat has aphrodisiac properties, which the Puerto Ricans obviously do not need, so it looks like the trade deficit with China is about to decrease.

(No, thank you, I won’t be serving iguana for dinner, in case you wonder, but some may want to have them with some fava beans and a nice chianti.)

Back in the 1960s it was Richard Burton dealing with the iguanas,


11 Responses to “Puerto Rico: The night of the iguana”

  1. Mr. Bingley Says:

    What a bizarre movie.

  2. Fausta Says:

    What a bizarre movie.
    It was, but seeing Burton bundled up in the hammock was weirdly rewarding.

  3. Mr. Bingley Says:

    I guess it provides a nice balance to seeing his wife so packaged in Cleopatra

  4. Fausta Says:

    Mummy! Mummy!!

  5. Mexfiles Says:

    Chiani with iguana? … ¡Qué bárbaro! A light sauterne perhaps, but that’s rather pretentious when everyone knows iguana is best washed down with a Corona :-)

    Seriously, our native iguanas here in Mexico are an endangered species (ironically, in part because of the build-up along the coasts that followed the tourism wave set off by the success of “Night of the Iguana”)and not available commercially. They are considered good eatin´by some of the indigenous groups here (and I agree… they are good eatin’). Assuming nobody does something stupid and try to market Iguana as yuppie fodder, there’d be a real market for Borican Iguana in Mexico.

  6. Fausta Says:

    In the spirit of keeping my readers happy, Mexfiles, http://www.manta.com/c/mr4ht2y/best-iguana-puerto-rico-meat Best Iguana Puerto Rico Meat.

    With 4 million iguanas running around, bon appetit!

  7. Dave F Says:

    I’m not big on Iguana meat, but Iguana eggs, Where can I buy Iguana eggs?

  8. Fausta Says:

    Where can I buy Iguana eggs?
    I’m sure the http://www.manta.com/c/mr4ht2y/best-iguana-puerto-rico-meat Best Iguana Puerto Rico Meat would know, DF.

  9. Gringo Says:

    When driving in Trinidad on a country track,driving about 15 mpg, I hit an iguana. I took its picture. On my return trip, the iguana was gone.

  10. Gringo Says:

    That would be 15 mph.

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