Fruit Bat Soup

During training, on Halloween of all nights, one host family wanted to expose the PCTs to a little bit of local culture. She prepared one of her favorite dishes for us - fresh fruit bat soup. We didn't think it would be too bad until we saw the local presentation of the dish. One whole fruit bat, complete with wings, fur and beady little eyes boiled in coconut and served in a large bowl. 

Now, it's very rude to turn down food in the Palauan culture, so we were each obliged to take a bite (I think the host mother used this to her amusement). Being good sports we all took a bite, chewed and swallowed, all while the host mother cracked up laughing at our ridiculously grossed out faces.

If you're wondering what fruit bat tastes like, imagine chicken, but really gamey and really greasy. Oh and if anyone tells you the wings are the best part, agree to disagree because they have the taste and texture of bat flavored bubble gum.

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“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.