'If You Can't Beat 'Em, Eat 'Em' Say Diners Noshing on Invasive Species
Tom Banse, VOA News
Last updated on: October 09, 2014 5:02 PM (source)
International travel and trade has had an unwelcome side effect in terms of spreading weeds, pests and non-native fish and animals. Wherever you live, you may have seen traditional eradication methods employed... such as herbicide spraying, biological controls, targeted hunting or removal by hand.
In the northwestern state of Oregon recently, another control method saw a brief revival: namely, cooking and eating them.
Creative chefs and more than 200 adventurous diners converged on a banquet hall at an Oregon vineyard to nibble on course after course of invasive species.
Chef Matt Bennett of Albany, Oregon, had prepared piquillo pepper stuffed with crayfish, dandelion green spanakopita and house-made wild boar sausage cooked with Sky High Brewing's Berry Invasive Ale. And those were just the appetizers. Still to come... buttermilk-fried bullfrog legs, braised wild boar with Himalayan blackberry glaze and Asian carp boulettes. None of those are native to the American northwest.
創意主廚和超過兩百名具有冒險精神的饕客(diner)聚集在奧勒岡一個葡萄園(vineyard)的宴會廳，小口小口地咀嚼(nibble on)著一道道外來入侵物種(invasive species)作成的菜。
主廚準備的菜色用淡水龍蝦(crayfish)作填料的西班牙甜辣椒(piquillo pepper)，蒲公英(dandelion)綠菠菜鹹派，還有用釀酒餐廳自製的黑梅麥酒(ale)一起烹煮的家常野豬(boar)香腸，而這些都還只是開胃菜(appetizer)而已。菜色還有炸酪奶牛蛙腿(bullfrog leg)，喜馬拉雅黑梅糖汁煨野豬(braised)與亞洲鯉魚(carp)丸。這些沒有一樣是美國西北的本地物種。
(編按：brew是「製酒、釀酒」的意思。Sky High Brewing是奧勒岡ㄧ個賣自釀酒的餐廳，他們推出的野梅麥酒(Berry Invasive Ale)是用黑梅(blackberry)還有虎杖(knotweed)兩個外來物種釀造的。Knotweed一字是 “knot” (節)+ “weed”(草)，意即「有節的草」，此中文網頁有詳細的說明。)
Diners Rosamaria and Greg Mann sampled deep-fried nutria. That's a rodent native to South America, where it's known as coypu. However, this one was trapped locally.
Rosamaria declared it "a little chewy, but tasty." Greg also enjoyed it, and found it "a little more tender than rabbit."
The point of this affair was to highlight the range of edible invasive weeds, birds, fish and mammals around us. These invaders are costly to control. They crowd out native plants and animals and can change entire landscapes.
If you can't beat 'em, eat 'em!
The title of this annual dinner is "Eradication by Mastication." But even the group putting on the gala - the Institute for Applied Ecology - admits you can't get rid of the invaders by eating them.
“The problem is too big for that," said its director, Tom Kaye. "And also, the parts of some of these things that we eat - some of the plants - if we, say for example, collect blackberries, that does not eradicate blackberries. You need to mow them or do more in order to get blackberries out."
But one of the celebrity chefs on hand made an energetic case for the culinary approach. Philippe Parola from Louisiana demonstrated for a rapt audience how to butcher a nutria and fillet an enormous carp, and said harvest pressure could keep invaders like this in check.
在場的(on hand)一位明星級大廚生動的演繹了這個烹飪的(culinary)消滅外來生物方法。觀眾全神貫注(rapt)看著這一位路依斯安那州大廚示範如何宰殺海狸鼠(nutria)和把巨大的鯉魚給去骨切片(fillet)。大廚認為，捕殺的壓力可以控制住(keep . . .in check)這些外來的入侵物種。
(編按：新聞標題還有這個段落的小標題是 “If you can't beat 'em, eat 'em!” ， 其中“’em”是them的縮寫，這是依照them這個字在口語時的發音表現所拼寫的，在引用別人說話或英語歌詞中，若想要表達一種口語的感覺，常會刻意使用這樣的拼法。這整句其實是改寫自一個英文諺語：If you can’t beat them, join them. 「如果打不過他們，那就加入他們」。 這裡改寫成「打不過他們，就吃掉他們」，符合活動的宗旨，也頗為生動。)
“When I hear 'cooking the problem is not the solution,' well, I'm not saying it is the solution," he said. "But it can be a part of the solution. If you give us a chance and work with us, I guarantee you we can make it a heck of a solution."
The big three Parola would like to see on more than a few U.S. menus are: nutria, Asian carp and feral pigs.
In North America, imported nutria escaped from fur farms and now are causing widespread environmental damage. Meanwhile, federal and state agencies in the American Midwest are spending tens of millions of dollars per year to control the spread of several Asian carp species, hoping to keep them out of the Great Lakes. Wild pigs - which carry diseases and parasites, threaten livestock and damage crops - are now found in 45 states.
A delicate balance
But Wyatt Williams, a member of the Oregon Invasive Species Council, hopes the exotic entrees don't get too popular on dinner plates.
“If people start to get a taste for Asian carp," he reflected, "then perhaps it could be turned into a fishery, and maybe become popular, and people won't want them to be eradicated."
Meat inspection and public health rules present another hurdle when it comes to wild game in particular.
If an American consumer or restaurant wanted to buy wild boar chops or nutria nuggets, they'd have a hard time finding them. As several of the chefs at this invasive species dinner noted, the food safety system in the U.S. is not set up to handle wild-harvested meat.
奧勒岡外來物種委員會(Invasive Species Council)的成員表示，他希望這些異國風味的菜色(entrée)不要在餐桌上變得太熱門才好。
他說，「如果大家開始喜歡上(get a taste for . . .)亞洲鯉，之後的演變可能會有飼養鯉魚的漁場(fishery)出現。鯉魚肉更熱門後，也許人們就不再想消滅它了。」
肉品檢驗(meat inspection)和公共衛生法規也是食用野生獵物(wild game)的另一個阻礙(hurdle)。
1. eradication (n) 消除，消滅
2. herbicide (n) 除草劑 *這是由兩個字根組成的: “herb” (草)+”-icide” (殺)
3. converge (v) 聚集
4. vineyard (n) 葡萄園 *注意發音：
5. nibble on/at . . . (v phr) 小口的吃 . . .
6. boar (n) 公豬；野豬
7. culinary (a) 烹飪的，烹煮相關的
8. rapt (a) 著迷的，癡迷的
9. keep . . . in check (v phr) 抑制
10. entrée (n) 主菜
11. hurdle (n) 障礙；困難
12. wild game (n) 野生的獵物 *game表「獵物」意思時是不可數的
Check your vocabulary!
Fill in the blanks with a word or phrase from the list above. Make necessary changes. After you finish, select the text below to reveal the hidden answers.
1. They listened with rapt attention.
2. Deep-dish pizza is one of Chicago's culinary traditions.
3. A good hunter always has game on the table.
4. The two rivers converge into one near Pittsburgh.
5. There's a fish nibbling at my bait.
6. Finding enough money for the project was the first hurdle.