Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Nutria, and why we should develop a taste for them


Here is a video from Discovery News quickly explaining what Nutria are, and why they are a problem invasive species. We have them in Oregon, and they're spreading. So far the best site I've found about them is Nutria.com from the Louisiana Department of Fish and Wildlife -- it gives biological, environmental, control, and culinary information.

In the South, they have bounties on their heads (tails actually) and are served in restaurants, after a quick naming face-lift to Ragondin (as they are known in France). My father, the big geek, ordered it when he was in New Orleans a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Ragondin certainly sounds more appetizing than a popular common name for them in the South of Swamp Rat.

I've got this thing about trying to create and encourage human exploitive markets for damaging invasive species. Having humans very interested in harvesting a particular animal or plant has in the past produced spectacularly decimating results -- why not apply this here and now? Make the next haute cuisine dish based on Ragodin -- create a run on the animals like we had on Redfish after Cajun cuisine became popular in the 1980's. I'm trying to develop plans for Starling-based "perfect nutrition wild-bird" catfood as well, but that's probably worth a post on its own.

By the way, Nutria Fur is fabulous -- similar in quality to Beaver. You know you want some guilt-free fur -- admit it.

Mr. Luddite might have Nutria in his mill pond, and if the water is clean (sure looks clean) they will become dinner in the near future. Expect a report.

[photo credit nutria.com website]

Enjoy your edible invasive species,

Bp

11 comments:

msherm said...

We made 2 15 foot nutria couches a few years ago (we being my work)

Just doing our part I suppose. It is the softest most comfortable couch I've ever sat on.

Land Ark Northwest said...

Wow, 30 ft. of nutria fur couch . . . That boggles the mind. I'd better get to checking that mill pond post-haste. Hell, I'd better start encouraging the little blighters. Maybe introduce them if they're not there? *duck* JK! JK!

Bpaul said...

I can't even imagine a nutria fur couch, WOW. I hope they were wild trapped and not farmed LOL how ironic would that be if they were farmed...

Mr. Luddite, I'd be so emotionally conflicted if you introduced Ragodin to your pond. On one side, WTF MAN!!! On the other "I'm getting my bow and canoe!!"

Tate said...

wow this is interesting.. Not a rodent fan, but what the hell maybe a nutria blanket would be nice in the desert

Land Ark Northwest said...

Yo Taterbug, thanks for the hello from earlier comments. Things are quite busy, much too much to sum up here, but all in all good stuff.

And if I can add Nutria to my diet as well as their fur to my other items (I'm thinking string silencers on bows), then great!

I'm on board with Bpaul -- invasive species that we can eat and use for crafts, sign me up.

CtheG said...

I'm thinking a coat lined in the fur would be a nice addition to my wardrobe......I'd feel pretty fancy.

Land Ark Northwest said...

Did you find the link from Bpaul's nutria site with the fur coats? Fancy is right!

I'm thinking mittens and a hat of some sort, plus a new arrow quiver, since mine got stolen.

Trappin' Pat said...

Are they greasy?

When you bag one invite Aureila and I for dinner. (She hates everything!)

CtheG said...

no land ark northwest I didn't see the link to the fur coats - just imagined myself in a fur lined coat and thought...FANCY...I'll go hunt down that link and see what they actually look like.

Bpaul said...

T.P. -- nope very lean, just like rabbit. In fact, lean enough you have to account for it when you cook them (bacon wrap? hehe).

Stu Farnham said...

Taste just like chicken!