I’ve always had a distrustful dislike of crocodiles. I think it stems from the time I nearly accidently walked into a pool of the prehistoric eating machines while ill-advisedly looking for the “friendly” albino crocodile that passed for a tourist attraction in The Gambia.
So the idea of eating one held some attraction as payback time – but not that much.
Spurred on by last week’s report that a happy old age is achived by trying a new thing every day, this week I ate my first crocodile. Not the whole thing of course, just some swingeing cut off the whole monster dressed in a choice of sauces.
This odd dish was served up at my local Italian restaurant (Va Bene in Glossop) which invited me to take part in an amazing journey of taste to road test it’s new menu.
For starters I was treated to a truly satisfying pasta and bean soup, a splendid Sicilian dish of aubergine and raisin and some rather more othodox dishes such as prawn bruschetta and duck salad.
And when it came to the main courses – well no taste was left unexplored. Fruit pizza for instance. It doesn’t sound right but kiwi with cheese and mozarella is really a good thing and apple and cinnamon pizza is like an unconstructed cheese board – what’s strange about cheese and apple.
There was plenty of what I’d describe as authentic Italian food to devour – anyone looking on at our table a deux and seeing about 15 plates piled up must have throught we were ultimate gluttons but, hey, this was all research.
The whole tasting experience isn’t something I’ve ever done before and at the end of the multitude of risotto, black pasta, penne, steak et al I felt like I’d had a lesson in Italian cooking.
But that crocodile?For anyone who hasn’t tried this then I can only decribe it as a meat texture with a fishy taste. To my mind fishy meat is just too strange a mixture for the taste buds to enjoy.
Whether Va Bene actually puts it on the menu remains to be seen, but if it does disappear forever to the ideas list, then aplologies from me for any crocodile dundees just waiting for the chance to experience it close to home. For everyone else – order up a fruit pizza for the kids and get stuck into some Italian regional produce and you’ll soon forget all about the snappy one.