Ever Eaten Monkey Meat?
In the eyes of most Americans, eating monkey meat is not a terribly pleasant thought. It might be the thought of eating an animal that is more like a human than any other that figuratively leaves a bad taste in our mouths. Some cultures however, particularly in Asia, and to a lesser extend in Africa, prize monkey meat, and monkey carcasses as well as prepared meat can often easily be found in stalls and shops.
Not The Tastiest Of Meats - It has been the experience of some Westerners that a meal of monkey meat is not a particularly pleasant experience from the standpoint of taste, the taste being somewhat bland and uninspiring. The best way to enjoy monkey meat would seem to be in a stew, together with plenty of other ingredients and plenty of spices. The head of the monkey, or even the skull, should be left at the butcher shop. If the head of the deceased and slaughtered animal is left nearby, a Westerner taking part in a meal of monkey meat would probably feel a little bit like a cannibal.
Many of us would never eat dog meat, cat meat, or horseflesh either, usually because of our love of those animals more so than because of the taste. Those who have eaten horseflesh, and such people are by no means a rarity, consider it to have a rather pleasant and sweet taste, while dog flesh is at best uninspiring. Some who have eaten cat meat compare it to rabbit.
Let's Eat Cambodian - If you do want to purchase monkey meat in the United States, it will usually always come in a can, and may be labeled as something else to avoid problems with customs, although strictly speaking, eating monkey meat isn't illegal though importing the meat may be. It's a gray area. The best place to find monkey meat would be an Asian food store or butcher shop, though in the United States any monkey meat found in a butcher shop would still likely be canned. A Cambodian shop would be your best bet.
Try Bush Meat - If you're looking for African monkey meat (whether the taste is significantly different from that of Asian monkeys is uncertain), you'll have your best chance of finding some by going to an ethnic food store and asking for bush meat. Bush meat is usually monkey meat but not always. Again, what is legal to import and what is not legal comes into play here, and it's not always what's in the can but how the can is labeled that counts.
Jellyfish, Earthworms, Or Whatever Pleases - While we may think it strange that some cultures would place a high value on monkey meat, while others might view the animal as sacred, one has to take into account that meat is not always plentiful in some parts of the world, and any animal entering a village unannounced would instantly become fair game. People eat whales, elephants, armadillos, beasts with hooves, beasts with claws, and beasts with fingers and toes. To most of us, a jellyfish is a curiosity at best and something that can deliver a painful sting at worst. In some cultures, a jellyfish is a meal. Even earthworms, with the dirt removed, make a meal for some, and are reported to have a somewhat “tart” taste. Monkey meat is not apt to become a part of North American cuisine anytime soon, but if one wants to venture beyond rattlesnake, alligator, or some of the other more exotic foods, there are plenty of animals out there that might be worth a try.