The Hunter has been invaded by flying foxes (also known as fruit bats). Well, not the entire Hunter… but parts of it.
Apparently the “last resort” actions of government policy – smoke, noise, water hoses and bright lights – aren’t too effective. So it must be time for a new strategy.
Ripley’s Believe it or Not posted on Facebook recently that “fruit bat soup is a popular dish in Palau, Micronesia”.
“The bat is served whole,” it said, before adding “what are you having for breakfast?”
We decided not to publish any photos of fruit bat soup because… well… it looks gross. But for any interested ghouls, there’s plenty online to be googled.
We note the dish was featured online in a column titled “15 Grossest Dishes From Around The World”.
Fruit bat soup came in at number 14. “Both Guam and Palau are famous for their fruit bat soup recipes,” the article on rantfood.com said.
“In Indonesia, Paniki is made from fruit bat with coconut milk, spices, and chilli.
“So many cultures in the region consume fruit bat, that it's often referred to as ‘chicken of the cave’.”
Other dishes that made the list were goat fetus, pig anus, tiger penis soup and ant larvae. It’s enough to turn us vegan.
Anyhow, back to the flying foxes. As the Herald recently reported, neighbourhoods in East Cessnock, Lorn, Raymond Terrace, Blackalls Park, Newcastle suburbs around Blackbutt Reserve, Islington and Carrington have been suffering from fruit-bat colonies.
The problem had become so concerning that some called for a cull. Now we fully realise these creatures are threatened. And they do good things for the environment, like pollination and seed dispersal. But we should point out that owls (and Ozzy Osborne) do eat them.
What we’re basically trying to say is, if Shooters Party MP Robert Borsak is allowed to eat an elephant, fruit bat soup must surely be an option.
The Buddha’s Hand
Has Coles at The Junction been selling weird yellow witches’ hands? It might appear that way, when looking at this photo that Newcastle IT guru Gordon Whitehead posted on Twitter.
“WTF is this? Do you eat it or scratch ya back with it?” Gordon said.
He later discovered it was a citrus fruit named “Buddha’s hand”. One online source described it as having a “sweet lemon blossom aroma” with no juice or pulp. Another said it was a “unique blend of bitter and sweet, similar to kumquats and tangerines”.
It can be eaten like a normal fruit or used for zesting, but its best use is probably as a conversation starter. Or, you could put it in your children’s lunch box to scare the living daylights out of them.
More Yellow Fruit
While we’re on the subject of yellow fruit, we were given some passionfruits of this colour recently.
We’d never see a yellow passionfruit before. Apparently they’re called “Panama Sweet Gold”.
We have to say, they tasted pretty good. They came from a Kulnura farm on the Central Coast. We hadn’t seen this fruit in the supermarket.
While the purple passionfruit originated in South America, some say the yellow passionfruit may have come from Australia. So we’re not sure why we hadn’t seen yellow ones before.
As for passionfruit’s glorious name, apparently it has nothing to do with being an aphrodisiac. The fruit grows on the “passion flower vine”. Christian missionaries in South America gave it this name in the 16th century because they decided the flower symbolised the death of Christ.