Posted by: Rob Viens | September 18, 2012

Ostrich Dumplings and Armadillo Steaks

As you have your lunch today, think of Darwin enjoying the local fare of Patagonia:

“Have been employed during these two days with various marine animals which I procured from the beach & by dredging.— What we had for dinner to day would sound very odd in England.— Ostrich dumpling & Armadilloes; the former would never be recognised as a bird but rather as beef.— The Armadilloes when unlike to the Gauchos’ fashion, cooked without their cases, taste & look like a duck.— Both of them are very good.” (Sept 18)

Ostrich, bacon dumpling stew (from the home channel)

These days there is a noticeable return to “eating local” in the United States and Europe – buying food from a 100 mile radius and reducing “food miles”. (This is probably true in other areas, too – feel free to comment and let me know.) In 1832, there was pretty much no choice – the Beagle‘s provisions had to last for months and there was no refrigeration.  So the crew had to eat a local diet whenever possible.  Obviously the trend today, while it is a good one, is nothing new.

I love how Darwin regularly comments on the local food, at the same time describing the very same species in his naturalist notebooks. He was practical and handy – no use wasting specimens! (RJV)


  1. […] Armadillo (see Ostrich Dumplings and Armadillo Steaks) […]

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