Thursday, March 22, 2007

But Capybara Aren't Fish!

If you hang around me long enough, you'll eventually hear my story about how South Americans consider capybara's, the world's largest rodent, as fish. (If you hang around me long enough, you'll also find out that Regis Philbin is my mortal enemy and that I once found myself with a black guy and two Filipinos in the middle of a KKK march, but those are stories for another time).

To wit, one of my friends (James Lin, of Lincoln Highway fame) has just forwarded me an article from the New York Times about the world's most delicious rodent (I bet Amazon's statistically improbable phrases would have fun with that one). As you can see in the picture below, it's pretty obvious that capybara aren't fish.



So here's the Gray Lady on rodent-fish:


The annual hunt comes before Easter, when capybara has a status in Venezuela similar to that of turkey during Thanksgiving. While the Roman Catholic Church generally forbids eating meat during certain days of Lent, many Venezuelans insist that the capybara is more akin to fish than to meat.

...

That may have something to do with how salted capybara tastes, resembling a mixture of sardines and pork. Legend has it that eating capybara, known here as chig├╝ire (pronounced chee-GWEE-reh), got a boost in the 18th century when the local clergy asked the Vatican to give capybara the status of fish.