52 Weeks 52 Tests – Week 13 – Crocodile Soup

Work is pretty busy these days and I have not had time to plan for a structured experimentation. Nevertheless, there is always a way to get out of the comfort zone, even close to home. Especially, when you live in South East Asia.
I had already spotted several weird foods you can find in Singapore, but never sampled a “delicacy” I saw on a few seafood billboards around town: crocodile.

 

Singapore was originally a very swampy island, and salted water crocs can be spotted from time to time in the wetlands… Crocodiles have always been residents of Singapore. Heck, there is even a Crocodile brand clothing company, not dissimilar to a famous french one…

 

The local brand since then changed their logo to this

I guess they lost their trial…
Anyway, back to our topic: I had to try food with some crocontent.
With my equally adventurous friends Emma and Yohann, we headed to a Geylang seafood restaurant on Sunday evening to sample one of those dishes.

 

Plenty of choice, but lured by the ressuring “Like” thumb sign on the menu, we opted for the “paw” stew…

A Carlsberg pint later (for courage), the stew landed on our table, dressed like your usual claypot soup:

We spent some time trying to understand what was crocodile, and what was everything else (spring onions, onions, mushrooms, etc…)

This is Croc.
Check the grey claw in the spoon…

 

The following has French comments, but my reaction at : will give you an idea of my appreciation of the dish…

 

It was slimy, bony, with a weird taste. I’m not trying this again. Or maybe proper crocodile flesh, like a crocodile fillet or some’. Croco paws were already intermediate level.
Disclaimer:
The crocodile you can eat at the restaurant come from a farm and is not an endangered species. Yet the door lady told me that crocodile was good for lungs. I do not believe in these TCM claims on the virtues of rare or wild animals to cure such or such ailment. I picture too easily a dodgy, convincing Chinese merchant totally making a claim up hundreds of years ago just to get rid of his stock, and the claim then propagating through word-of-mouth until integrated in popular culture…
Some TCM beliefs do have a very negative impact on the biodiversity, and accelerate the extinction of entire species such as tigers, rhinos, pangolin, and sharks.
In particular, I’m shocked that shark’s fin soup is still not yet banned from Singapore restaurants. Shark fishing has devastating effects on the equilibrium of the marine ecosystem, and it could have dramatic effects for the humans as well. I invite you to look at the following 5 minutes documentary on the effects of shark finning, to never eat shark fin, not to give any money to restaurant offering shark fin on the menu and to spread the word.
For them, and for our children, thanks in advance

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