Eat Piranha in the Pantanal

April 17, 2012
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The vast expanse of Brazil's Pantanal is fascinating for nature travel enthusiasts. This is especially true when the bounty of the land makes its way into the kitchen.

The cuisine of the Pantanal is centered around meat and fish, which also happen to be the region's most significant sources of income. Raising cattle is the most important way of subsistence in the Pantanal, closely followed by fisheries. Fishing devices are simple, and Brazilians predominantly use the method of angle-fishing in small boats.

While meat is often used to bait fish like piranhas, fishermen also draw in carnivorous fish by throwing corn into the water to attract herbivorous fish that in turn cause the larger carnivores to flock.

Most meals in the Pantanal often feature a type of meat or fish accompanied by beans. Piranha meat may be found in stews and other entrees. In addition, many restaurants and other dining atmospheres in the region offer a wide selection of Brazilian and Chilean red wines. So what does piranha taste like? According to previous International Expeditions guest Bret Love of Green Global Travel, who sampled piranha in the Amazon, “Honestly, piranha tastes very similar to any other light, flaky, white fish, albeit slightly bony overall. But the tender bits of meat are moist and succulent.”