Thursday, March 26, 2009
How to Eat Fried Worms - In the Pacific Isles
At this point, its evident that delicious caviar is harvested and produced in North America as well as the Caspian Sea, and a few other locations. However, another area that most may not have considered offers another unique variety of the time treasured delicacy. In the islands of the Pacific there exists yet another type of 'caviar'. 'Pacific caviar', indeed, is extraordinary in the sense that it is affordable to the average man (meaning man or woman), thus consumed in larger quanities. As may be expected, it is not derived from the ancient Sturgeon - or any fish species at all. It is the eggs of a type of annelid sea worm, called 'Palolo'. Male and female worms are distiguisheble by there color differences; males are reddish brown and females are green bluish. Now when the moon is into its last quarter, the worms gather together and rise to the seas surface to spawn.
'Once on the surface, the worms get stuck on everything: buckets, hand nets, mosquito nets, basket made of coconut tree leaves, hands. The astonishing phenomenon will last only few hours, and it always starts at 2 a.m. The islanders eat the worms even raw, but they can be boiled, roasted or fried. The worms can be baked into a loaf with coconut milk and onions. In local restaurants, you can find roasted palolo worms'.
During the three day harvesting period, which extends typically from November to December
'hardcore' Palolo connoisseurs grab the wriggling green-and-blue worms and swallow the Palolo worm egg mass raw on the spot. Most scoop them up in clumps and dump them into buckets. The next day there's a celebration—a kind of Thanksgiving feast, Samoan style. The worms are fried in oil or baked into a loaf with coconut milk and onions. A new daily special shows up on local restaurant menus: palolo worm on toast. It's considered quite a delicacy.
In terms of flavor, some Westerners have gone on record to say that the Palolo's taste is 'fishy, scratchy, tart, even a mix of seaweed and caviar'. Obviously Palolo to the Western pallet is a taste to be acquired. Therefore, an open mind is required.
Traveller, Ryan Wells recounts of his recent visit to Western Samoa
... the morning after the Palolo harvest, even for those who didn't take part in the late-night sex-party crashing, there is plenty of the overpriced delicacy at the market. Even restaurants like the Gourmet Seafood, inappropriately named but charming, have an added handwritten special on their board today - Fried Palolo on Toast. Sauteed with a little butter and onion, the palolo takes on a translucent green quality making it even harder to swallow for some, even more delicious for others. (source:http://www.getlostmagazine.com/features/2003/0305samoa/samoa.html).
So, tell me. who wants to go first?
Trust only your friends,