The Australian monitor lizard - more commonly called the goanna – has an important place in Aboriginal culture and medicine and in Australian folklore. It also, apparently, makes good eating. The tail is said to be the best part, and - not surprisingly- is said to taste like chicken, or like fish, or ‘sweeter and more juicy than rabbit.’
The simplest bush recipe for cooking goanna was to roast it in the ashes, so that that when the ashes were brushed off, the skin came with it, and the flesh was then ready to eat. By the time of the Perth newspaper’s bush recipes competition in 1938 (mentioned yesterday), there was less of the bush and more of the French kitchen about goanna tail recipes, as the following competition entries show:
Scald and skin the tail of a goanna. Cut into three-inch slices. Dip in egg and bread crumbs, and fry quickly to a golden brown. Olive oil is the best to fry in, but some do not like the flavour of olives.
Goanna Tail with Parsley Sauce.
Skin tail and cut into small pieces. Place in a saucepan, and just cover with water. Cook till tender. Make parsley sauce as follows:-Boil one pint of water, throw into it one tablespoon finely minced parsley and half a teaspoonful of salt. Then add two ounces flour, mixed to smooth paste in a gill of water. Stir over fire until it thickens. Break into it one or two ounces of butter. Put cooked tail into this, and serve hot.
Quotation for the Day.
You can never have enough garlic. With enough garlic, you can eat The New York Times.
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Monitor Lizard tails are also eaten here, where there are many around Lake Tanganyika.
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