As strange as it may seem, many people wonder if you can eat axolotls. Yes, you’ve read that correctly…In this post, we will tell you whether or not axolotls are edible and answer other related questions.
So, here’s the low-down:
You can eat axolotls. Axolotls are not poisonous or venomous, and are edible. Therefore, it’s possible for humans to eat them. As a matter of fact, axolotls have been eaten around the world in countries such as Mexico, Japan, and China.
Table of Contents
- What Does Axolotl Taste Like?
- How Are Axolotls Served?
- Are All Axolotls Edible?
- Is Eating Axolotl Legal?
- What Countries Are Axolotls Eaten In?
- Where Can You Buy An Axolotl?
- My Final Thoughts
I think it goes without saying, but it’s definitely NOT something we would encourage. As a matter of fact, we find the idea somewhat horrifying. But, after all, every culture has different ways and we need to acknowledge and accept our differences.
In France for example, it’s quite common for people to eat horse meat. To many in the Anglo-Saxon world, that idea is outrageous. Horses are considered noble animals and loyal companions which have lived alongside, worked with, and transported humans for millennia.
In India, the cow is considered sacred and seen as a motherly, giving animal that can provide nourishing milk to young children. Its slaughter is illegal in most Indian states and eating beef is unfathomable to most Hindus.
What Does Axolotl Taste Like?
According to a news report published on Japanese news site SoraNews24, which recounts the eating of a fried axolotl in the Takara Yuki Sakebou restaurant in the city of Osaka, axolotls taste like white meat fish.
The article also describes the texture of the fried axolotl as crunchy, which they attribute to the spine of the animal. They also explain that the bones weren’t removed before frying which may also add to the crunchiness.
We’ve also read that axolotls can taste similar to an eel, which is a popular dish in many countries including Japan, China, France and even England. Some also say that the axolotl is naturally salty and doesn’t require seasoning with salt.
Axolotls have been eaten by humans in my different countries, across multiple continents. Therefore, they have been served in many different ways including roasted, boiled, or fried.
- Roasted Axolotl
Axolotls can be roasted over a fire or grilled over charcoal. This is probably how axolotls were prepared by early Mesoamericans, and even modern-day Mexicans.
- Boiled Axolotl
Axolotls can also be boiled in water. One can imagine that certain people have put them into soups as well. Asian cultures in particular are famous for their soups and broths which are rich in animal protein, vegetables, and spices.
- Fried Axolotl
It’s also possible to deep-fry an axolotl. This is the method used in the Japanese example highlighted in our example above.
Are All Axolotls Edible?
Axolotls all belong to the same species. Moreover, axolotls are not poisonous. Therefore, we would assume that all axolotls are edible – but hey, what do we know? We just keep them as pets.
One thing to keep in mind is that there may be a difference between wild axolotls and axolotls bred in captivity. Indeed, axolotls in the wild are not fed antibiotics and in theory will eat wild, natural food.
On the other hand, axolotls bred in captivity may have been given certain medications or antibiotics. And, they may also have been fed heavily processed foods that themselves would not be safe for human consumption.
With all of that in mind, there may be risks associated with eating either wild axolotls or axolotls bought in a store. Proceed at your own risk!
Is Eating Axolotl Legal?
We have already looked into the legality of owning axolotls in all 50 US states. However, it’s not quite clear to us what the law says about eating axolotls.
It’s probably safe to assume that it’s illegal to eat axolotls in the states where owning axolotls is illegal – and vice versa.
What Countries Are Axolotls Eaten In?
We have found evidence that axolotls are eaten in Mexico, Japan, and China. If you know of any other countries in the world where axolotls are a delicacy, please feel free to get in touch and we will add them to the list.
Do Mexicans Eat Axolotls?
Yes, Mexicans eat axolotls.
Whilst there is strong evidence that axolotls were eaten as far back as 1200 BC by the Aztecs which inhabited modern-day Mexico; axolotls are no longer a popular dish with Mexicans today. As a matter of fact, very few Mexicans still eat axolotl.
Indeed, axolotls are a critically endangered species and almost extinct in the wild. Due to their dwindling numbers, they were no longer a reliable food source and other staples appeared and replaced them on the menu.
Do Chinese Eat Axolotls?
Yes, the Chinese eat axolotls.
Indeed, the Chinese are known for being very “adventurous” when it comes to food. Or as some would say, they are much more open-minded when it comes to what can be eaten. Therefore, it’s possible to find axolotl as a gourmet dish on the menu in certain restaurants in China.
However, it’s also worth noting that in the grand scheme of things, the consumption of axolotls by humans – in China and elsewhere – is anecdotal. They are more of a novelty and rare delicacy than a staple food.
Do Japanese Eat Axolotls?
Yes, the Japanese eat axolotls.
Somewhat like the Chinese, the Japanese like to try out many different types of food including all sorts of aquatic animals that many in the West might be reluctant to sample – such as jellyfish or the venomous pufferfish.
However, eating axolotls in Japan is also somewhat of a novelty and a rarity. Most restaurants do not serve axolotls.
Where Can You Buy An Axolotl?
We have a post that covers the different ways of buying axolotls (both online and in-store), and also where to buy them in the US.
However, this list is designed for people who are looking to buy axolotls as pets. If you decide that you want to hit one of those stores up to buy an axolotl and eat it – that’s totally up to you. As explained above, we’re not big fans of the idea and we really don’t know what risks may be associated with doing so.
Finally, we aren’t aware of any restaurants which sell axolotl dishes in the US or even in Europe. If you are aware of any, please feel free to contact us, we’re really curious and would love to know.
My Final Thoughts
It’s indeed possible to eat axolotls.
They’re said to taste like fish. As a matter of fact, axolotls are considered a gourmet dish in many countries including Mexico, Japan, and China.
However, we’re not really on board with the whole idea. We understand that every culture is different and that certain people find the idea of eating beef appalling for example – whilst I for one love a juicy steak! That being said, we just find axolotls too cute and enjoy keeping them as pets so much that we just can’t ever see ourselves wanting to eat one.