Odd Thoughts: Successful invaders bear fruit

What do you do about invaders who attempt to take over your lands? Depending on your cultural background and what part of the world you live in, you might eat them.

Some cultures promote the consumption of only certain parts of the invaders, maintaining that it is a way to preserve their honour, or to take their courage into yourself.

It’s a kind of “you are what you eat” concept, or perhaps, “you are who you eat.”

Around here there have been numerous ferocious and successful invaders.

Some have been quite edible – some folks have considered them quite tasty, as a matter of fact.

Speaking of cannibals, the bullfrogs that have taken over local ponds and marshes have decimated frog populations. It turns out that their smaller cousins rank high on their preferred menu.

And eating is really what this invader has been about from the start. They were actually introduced in hopes that they would flourish, so that they could be harvested.

There are people who consider frogs’ legs a delicacy, and bullfrogs’ legs provide more meat than a mere morsel.

Unfortunately for the entrepreneurs who opened our gates to the invaders, bullfrogs turned out to be too successful… as an invasive species, that is, but not as a culinary attraction.

When it comes to food, I’m generally willing to try anything at least once. I’ve eaten alligator and snake, beaver and ostrich, and a variety of bugs and worms. Most of them, when I am reintroduced to the opportunity for their consumption, fall under the “been there, done that” designation.

Although I’ve had frogs’ legs on my plate on two separate occasions, I have yet to partake, and I fully expect that a third attempt would again end in failure. They look too much like little human legs.

So the bullfrogs continue their invasion, unobstructed by the cooks and gourmands who pulled the Trojan horse into the city, their only real enemies made up of environmentalist death squads roaming in search of gelatinous egg masses to render sterile.

But there’s another successful invader that owes at least part of its success to its pleasant effect on the palate – the Himalayan blackberry has buried countless hectares of land under its tenacious brambles. It, too, is on the environmentalists’ hit list, and we should not encourage it.

But once you’ve tasted one of my blackberry peach pies….

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