Roadkill Cafe
December 12, 2007 10:20 PM   Subscribe

I found armadillos for sale at a meat market in San Francisco's Chinatown. My question is who buys them, and what do they do with them? And where did they come from? That market has had them on several occasions, so someone must be buying them.

Just to cut off speculation - armadillo is not on the menu in China. None of my Chinese friends have ever encountered an armadillo except as roadkill during roadtrips through the Southwest.
posted by freshwater_pr0n to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well, no shortage of Google results for armadillo recipes, though most are southwestern BBQ.

As for Asian cooking, this looks tasty.

My first thought though, was turtle soup. BIG turtle soup.
posted by rokusan at 10:24 PM on December 12, 2007

It's a delicacy in some parts of Mexico.
posted by pg at 10:48 PM on December 12, 2007

(Were they live armadillos?)

(Are there armadillo ranches?)
posted by thehmsbeagle at 10:51 PM on December 12, 2007

Armadillo Pie

It's a Texan dish, but not one I've had.
posted by ecab at 10:58 PM on December 12, 2007

There have been commercial armadillo "farms." But they mostly focused on providing armadillo baskets, which are still a pretty common decoration in the south and south west.
posted by paulsc at 11:17 PM on December 12, 2007

I wonder... Armidallos may not be on the menu in China, but perhaps they are on the menu in Chinese communities in the southwest? San Francisco's Chinatown is old. There would have been plenty of time to innovate new dishes with local critters.
posted by PercussivePaul at 12:46 AM on December 13, 2007

Pangolin is commonly eaten in China. Perhaps armadillo is a local substitute.
posted by Etaoin Shrdlu at 1:19 AM on December 13, 2007

I have eaten armadillo (and yes, I'm from Texas). It's not bad. I hate to say it, but it tastes like chicken.
posted by ubiquity at 4:27 AM on December 13, 2007

I read somewhere that in Chinese culture, eating new types of meat is thought of in the same way westerners think of foreign travel - "I haven't been to Switzerland, but it might be interesting to go there.....I haven't eaten armadillo yet, but maybe this weekend...".

[not Chineseist]
posted by tiny crocodile at 6:40 AM on December 13, 2007

There is a saying in China about Guandongren (Cantonese) that they will everything on land except for the tank, everything that flies except for the airplane, and everything that swims except for the submarine. Most Chinatowns up until pretty much now are still primarily composed of Cantonese, and they are famous for their shall we say eclectic palette.
posted by BobbyDigital at 6:52 AM on December 13, 2007

Um. . .why don't you ASK next time you see an armadillo for sale? Hey, what is this and what do you use it for?
posted by peachy at 7:14 AM on December 13, 2007

I have eaten armadillo (and yes, I'm from Texas). It's not bad. I hate to say it, but it tastes like chicken.

I'm not from Texas, but have to agree that it does kind of taste like a cross between chicken and rabbit. Someone once cooked me a really tasty armadillo stew, very spicy and rich, and it was wonderful. So if the armadillos you see at the market are destined for dishes like that stew, my advice is to find out who is buying them and see if you can get invited to dinner.
posted by Forktine at 7:14 AM on December 13, 2007

If I saw Armadillo meat for sale in a market I'd buy some in a heart beat - just to see what it was like, on the basis someone else must be eating them (Since it's for sale) and therefore maybe they know something I don't. (Since I've never eaten it before)

I'm sure their must be plenty of other adventurous people who would buy it on a whim, and the existence of all the recipes mentioned here previously makes it look like a sound food option.
posted by paulfreeman at 7:44 AM on December 13, 2007

Armadillo tastes an awful lot like raccoon. Both of which I've had in spaghetti (think: meat sauce) and jambalya (good sausage hides the gamey-ness of the other meat). Cook it like you would any other red meat...though, now that I think of it, I can't remember the meat actually being red.
posted by ColdChef at 8:39 AM on December 13, 2007

Possum on the Half Shell. (GIS)

posted by Pollomacho at 9:08 AM on December 13, 2007

Armadillo basket! I am deeply and profoundly dismayed.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 9:47 AM on December 13, 2007

Does cooking the armadillo kill the leprosy bacterium? Just curious...
posted by yodelingisfun at 12:47 PM on December 13, 2007

Peachy, no one at the shop spoke English, and I wasn't with anyone who could translate for me.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 12:21 PM on December 14, 2007

There is no recorded case of a human contracting leprosy from an armadillo. Cooking armadillo kills the leprosy bacteria just like cooking pork kills the trichinosis bacteria. Avoid armadillo tartare, armadillo carpaccio and armadillo sashimi.
posted by ubiquity at 3:07 AM on December 15, 2007

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