Chicken of the Tree

While many people view South Florida’s invasive iguana population as an annoyance at best and a pandemic at worst, Ishmeal Asson sees something else: lunch.

The Fort Lauderdale resident and native Trinidadian considers eating iguanas to be a way of life. Growing up, Asson learned to roast the island critters at roadside and backyard gatherings. Iguana is a staple in the Caribbean, where the reptiles are a native species and are known as “pollo de los árboles,” or chicken of the trees. Their meat contains more protein than chicken, and members of some cultures believe it has medicinal properties.

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6 Responses to Chicken of the Tree

  1. TC says:

    Probably better than eating dirt?

  2. nonncom says:

    In Puerto Rico, you drive by a dead one on the road… back by 15 minutes later and it is gone…..road kill, Caribbean style….when working at the airport out on the main runway, there is a canal; that runs parallel to the runway, with a paved area along the canal full of Iguana….the grass in between can get 2 feet high, but you can see the bigger ones doing pushups in the sun to look out above the grass, and when you drive over to the canal, it sounds like a herd of Buffalo beating it to the canal….I’ve seen ’em 6-8 feet, maybe bigger….

  3. Miguel says:

    Invasive… only in the sense that they re not originally from here. But they are not predators and at most they are a threat to the fruit trees you may have in your backyard.

    This is one of the mini dinosaurs that hang around on the lake in my backyard.

  4. =T. Wrangler= says:

    Had a pet iguana when I was a kid. A pretty good lizard about 3 feet long named Seymour. Never bit anyone but he’d lash out with his tail if startled.
    Fed him apples, oranges and bananas. He loved grapes, would take them delicately from your hand.
    He escaped one day. Probably too small to make a good meal anyway…
    I saw him occasionally over the next few years, but never recaptured him- he’d gone native by then.
    For all I know he’s still out there freaking out the neighbor ladies.

  5. censusdesignatedplace says:

    There are videos of airgun depredation shoots of iguanas. Pretty cool stuff.

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