DLT: Im talking to Paul Reardon tonight who just ate an echidna for dinner. Paul, how did you come about getting the echidna? I mean I’m assuming you didn’t buy it from Coles. Aldi maybe?
PAUL: Well I was on my way to Castlemaine when my friend and I spotted the poor fella on the highway near amphitheatre. It had been hit by a car. We wrapped him up and took him with us.
DLT: Was he dead?
PAUL: Yes he was dead, still a bit warm but dead.
DLT: Marinade city. Population you… So given your history as a bit of an permaculture person with the odd bit of Derrick Jensen thrown in you obviously saw the dead echidna and thought ‘I’m going to eat that’. So you took it home and then what did you do?
PAUL: Well I knew he was gonna be tasty cos Adam had told me that those quills are hiding some pretty exquisite meat! and I didn’t have to do anything to it but fry it up with some onion and garlic.
DLT: How did you get the quills out?
PAUL: So after a day of keeping it out of the sun as I drove around Macedon Ranges , I finally got it home, found a sharp knife and made an incision in the belly, sorted the intestines and other grotty parts and tried to find the best cuts. I then did my best to pry away the liver heart and kidneys. I couldn’t get the quills out actually, I tried pliers but they were too brittle. Have to boil it next time.
DLT: Was the stomach full of ants? Did you check out the stomach contents or kind of look away?
PAUL: I must say it was quite a shock cutting open a wild animal. I was a bit over zealous with my cutting and I burst an intestine so it got a bit messy at one point, couldn’t see any ants, know what you’re getting at. I didn’t really want to look.
DLT: One time I was in a car driving to Kalbarri and we hit a rabbit. The Chilean guy in the car insisted that we go back and get it. Later that night I looked out of the kitchen window at the exact moment that all the grass was pouring out of the gutted rabbit. It was confronting. Mauricio roasted it with rosemary. I think I politely declined which now 13 years later I regret.
PAUL: Rabbit is quite a gourmet food now
DLT: It certainly is, as is King Island wallaby.I draw the line at eating quokkas though! So you cooked it up and ate it. How did it taste?
PAUL: It was the BEST meat I’ve ever had. Rich and dark it felt very right. The organs were so tasty, just the most delicate stuff.
DLT: I have heard that echidna meat tastes like salty pork. Apparently echidna is an important source of fat in some indigenous diets.
PAUL: Oh yeah I bet the indigenous hit the echidna up on occasion. Gotta be so good for ya.
DLT: They should cook roadkill on iron chef. “And the secret ingredient is…monotreme!”
DLT: Thanks for telling me about your extreme eco eating experience. Have you eaten any other roadkill before?
PAUL: No I have not but from now on I will stop when I see a dead animal and make sure to take it home. Good for compost and for the fur as well!
DLT: This is an aside but the male echidna has a 4 headed penis… I would like to end this interview by hearing your response to a Derrick Jensen quote that goes” Learning has to come from doing, not intellectualising”…
PAUL: I agree with that, its more fun that way… bye bye dream bright Sarah.
DLT: Good bye Paul. Next time I see you I expect that you will be wearing some echidna hat. See you in the soup.