As cute as they are, it was quite surprising to me when I heard some people talking about the delicate flavors of an axolotl while I was at an international food festival. It is quite difficult to imagine these adorable, goofy little creatures being coveted as dinner.
It is indeed true. Axolotls are considered a gourmet delicacy in many different countries. In terms of taste, they are quite close to white fish such as halibut, and the preparations follow closely to that of a fish as well.
Have I piqued your interest? In this article, I have compiled all the details I learned for you during my investigation into whether axolotls can be eaten.
Which countries eat Axolotls?
Upon my analysis, I actually learned that axolotls were a favorite food of Mexicans that lived near lake Xochimilco. They had a special preparation for axolotls, where they coated a whole axolotl in cornmeal and then deep-fried it. This preparation was known as “axolotl tamales,” and Mexicans still fancy this dish as of today.
These are also found in many restaurants in Asia, especially in Japan. Some restaurants in China, Thailand, and Vietnam also offer axolotl dishes sometimes. In these restaurants, they offer deep-fried axolotls with many different garnishes. However, it is quite rare to find and can be highly priced.
What do Axolotls taste like?
Although I have no personal experience (not that I would be willing to) in eating an axolotl, I have gained some insight on this out of my own curiosity.
There is not a lot of information on the internet about the taste of an axolotl. I have come across only a few people describing the taste. One person has compared its taste to that of an eel, while another has compared it to that of a halibut. I can only assume it tastes like something similar to a white fish.
The fact that axolotls are almost always served deep fried also solidifies my theory. Fish and Chips, one of the most famous dishes in the world, is also a piece of white fish battered and deep fried, and served with french fries. As a home cook with moderate experience, I can only imagine how similar these two can taste, despite not having the chance to eat an axolotl yet.
Even though the preparation is simple, an axolotl dish is always going to be expensive because of the scarce availability of the creature.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
Can you eat Axolotls raw?
Since axolotls are similar to white fish, it is not recommended to eat them raw. Eating a raw axolotl bears the risk of containing parasites and may cause food poisoning.
Are Axolotls poisonous?
The body of an axolotl is not known to bear any harmful toxins at all. So no, they are not poisonous.
Is eating axolotls illegal?
Technically, eating an axolotl is not illegal. However, axolotls are critically endangered and not mass bred to be consumed as food. Some states in the U.S., such as California, have outlawed the possession of an axolotl, so you might face some consequences if you are caught feeding on them.
There are two sides to every coin, and there are two groups in every debate as well. Although the majority of people would be against having an axolotl as food, some really enjoy eating it for their dinner as a gourmet delicacy.
As a zoophilist and hobbyist, I am not supportive of the fact that axolotls should be eaten, and I will be willingly skipping any chance that comes by.