Tuesday, 11 August 2009
A very special fish
The pictures you see here are of a very special animal that inhabits large extensions of South Ameria: the Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, a.k.a. capibara or, in Venezuela, chigüire (pronounce cheeweerai).
Some of you may suspect something from the Latin name: it has to do a lot with water. Capibaras are the largest rodents on Earth and they are semi-aquatic: they are constantly swimming. The male pursuits the female and can mount it only when his lady stops swimming. So capibaras have evolved to become very good swimmers. Because they swim so well, they have, unlike more and more people these days, a very lean meat (not that I eat people, but one can imagine). Their meat tastes a bit like pork but better and healthier. You can get the meat in shops and supermarkets these days. We prepare the meat with different sauces...am I salivating already?
One of the curiosities about capibaras is that Venezuelans and some others eat them particularly in Lent. The tradition says that the first Catholic missionaries asked for a dispensation from the Vaticcan in order to eat capibaras during Lent as they are most of the time swimming and must therefore be considered "fish".
More on capibaras in Wikipedia.
Ps. If you are Venezuelan and haven't answered the poll on the right, I would be very grateful if you could take a look
Labels: Venezuela's nature