Taco Fusion in Florida decided to remove its lion taco from the menu after receiving threats and complaints via social media. The restaurant, which specializes in exotic meats, offers other specialty tacos as well, including beaver, otter, and camel.
For $35 a pop, the lion taco wasn’t cheap, but it offered adventurous eaters a unique culinary experience. The restaurant says it was getting its lion meat from a reputable seller in Illinois, though we wonder if that source might be Czimer’s Game and Seafood, the same butcher featured in Gastronomica’s fascinating look into the lion-meat black market last year. In that piece, the owner of the shop would not disclose the source of his lions. The real problem is probably not legality though, but simply that lion is still a little too exotic for Americans.
For those who do love esoteric proteins, it is still possible to try lion and other exotic meats–you just might have to buy (through legal means) and cook them yourself. Here are somes cooking guidelines, by way of Dave Arnold over at Popular Science:
Lion: 57°C for 24 hours. Tastes like pork but richer.
Beaver tail: 60°C for 48 hours. Woodsy, delicious.
Black bear: 57°C for 3 hours. Tastes a little bloody and metallic. Younger bears are reportedly better.