Axolotl Boom: From Pet to Foodstuff

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From favourite childhood pet to fried delicacy, it appears the fortunes of the Axolotl (the neotenous larval form of the Mexican Salamander) have fallen on hard times…

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A blind tasting of one of the creatures reveals how delicious it is (they are not uncommonly eaten in their native country of Mexico), and an interview with a commercial Axolotl fishery in Japan reveals that (culinary) supply and demand are brisk:

The boom is particularly painful for some, as the creatures became popular childhood pets in one of Japan’s short-lived marketing booms in the 1980s, after a TV commercial for the still extant “UFO” brand of yakisoba ramen featured one of the animals; the name was soon popularly altered from “Axolotl” to ウーパールーパー / Uupaaruupaa after the advert:

It seems they were a victim of their own popularity, as once the boom subsided one of the very companies supplying them had a surplus and opted to switch its marketing efforts to culinary usage; now they are considering exports to China and Korea.

However, everyone agrees that they are delicious, so such objections seem not to have much traction, at least amongst those tasting them.

2ch for its part is almost universally horrified by the practice, a stark contrast to its usual defence of eating whales and dolphins as “they are no different from cows or fish, you eat those don’t you?”…

Via Itai News.

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    Comment by Megaman0
    11:15 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Poor Woopers

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:22 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Proof Japanese are cannibals, they will eat anything, fucking sick freaks.

    Avatar of Tiedupinknots
    Comment by Tiedupinknots
    06:48 29/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm not Japanese, and I WILL eat just about anything......dog,cat,rabbet,snake,grasshoppers,ants,squrrels,rat,cow,moose,deer,elk,bear,cougar,etcetcetc.....

    Hell, don't get caught in a servival experience with me or your on the menu, you becha!

    Avatar of ----
    Comment by ----
    11:31 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    And then Japanese protest Australia for exposing them as "people who will eat anything".

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:15 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I would eat that and such. but it's so cruel. It's like eating a Mudkip, so cruel.

    Comment by Al
    10:48 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    but seriously how can people have heart to eat something that is soo cute ?

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:44 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    damn elevens why dont they start trying to fry their pennis?

    Avatar of Furan
    Comment by Furan
    11:52 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I herd you liek Delicious Mudkips

    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Watanuked
    Comment by Anonymous
    11:59 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    What in... The axolotl is a fucking endangered species, Japan! What the hell are you thinking!

    Avatar of Tiedupinknots
    Comment by Tiedupinknots
    12:11 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Endangered in the WILD......

    You really think they are going to eat enough to do harm? Especially when they are eating captive bread animals? Did you think they were sloging there way thru the mud of Mexico hunting the last of them?

    They'll let anybody on this site.....

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:37 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Just like the whales right?

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:15 30/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I see what you did there

    Avatar of Tiedupinknots
    Comment by Tiedupinknots
    01:13 29/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    They let whales on this site?

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:21 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The axolotl is currently on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's annual Red List of threatened species!!!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axolotl

    Comment by Anonymous
    Avatar of knuclear200x
    Comment by knuclear200x
    08:58 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    So I herd u freid mudkips

    Comment by mazinga
    09:01 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    stop eating the poor mudkips there endangered :(

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:04 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    "It seems they were a victim of their own popularity, as once the boom subsided one of the very companies supplying them had a surplus and opted to switch its marketing efforts to culinary usage; now they are considering exports to China and Korea."

    A surplus of a critically endangered (according to wiki) species?

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:14 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    >A surplus of a critically endangered (according to wiki) species?
    If you read the wiki article, you would know that the endangered part refers only to the WILD Axolotl. Just look at reference 1 and you'll see this WILD word pop up everywhere.

    Avatar of Tiedupinknots
    Comment by Tiedupinknots
    06:44 29/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Don't sweat it, I've been trying to tell them for days, but they are just to damn stupid to learn.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:04 29/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't think it matters where it is endangered. This care-free attitude towards endangered species isn't normal either.

    Is it really ok to be like this?

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:46 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    mankind are nasty, i want to install a ufo factory of human meat like pc game prey ^o^

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:41 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    LET ME SHOW YOU MY POKEM-
    AHH! WHY ARE YOU EATING MY MUDKIP!?!

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:59 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Our school had a pet one.
    I can't bear to think of such eating practices!

    Avatar of Tallgeese_VI
    Comment by Tallgeese VI
    08:09 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Zadom from Suikoden V ? But it's kinda cute, I want one ! (as a pet)

    Last Pic. was great. :3

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:40 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It can't taste any worse than whale meat. Whale meat tasted pretty bad when I had it on "remember WW2 day". But if it's fatty or rubbery that would explain it's popularity in Japan as everyone there seems to enjoy that texture.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:44 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't think we have enough links to the wikipedia page for Axolotl so here we go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axolotl

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:48 31/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Uupaaruupaa is soo cute. I want one.

    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Anonymous
    Avatar of Azure Xuchilbara
    Comment by Azure Xuchilbara
    15:22 12/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Now if only we can turn it into an anime loli with a penchant for touching hands...Among other things...

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:04 31/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:20 31/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Axolotl (aka ajolote) is in danger of extinction!!!
    stop eating it! wicked

    Avatar of Elcachetondelpuro
    Comment by kyouki
    21:00 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm from México.

    Can someone please confirm if there is a sort of "Mexico-mania" in Japan right now? Because I've seen a lot of references to Mexican food on this webpage. Tacos last week and now an article about Axolototl O_o

    By the way Axolototl is a word in a native Mexican language (ie: not Spanish, but nahua). Most of Mexicans, like yours truly call this creature "Ajolote" (pronounce:- a - ho -(as in "hot) - lo -(as in "lot”) -te- (as in "telephone"). And is actually a delicacy (it's not something you eat on a daily basis).

    If you are curious about their taste, I can say they taste like fish.

    Avatar of Elcachetondelpuro
    Comment by kyouki
    21:07 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    By the way: Ajolotes (or Axolotl) are bread for human consumption in special farms; they can be found in the wild in almost every lake in central Mexico (which includes the states of Mexico, Mexico City, Puebla & Hidalgo). Axolotl are BY NO MEAN an “endangered species”. To say Axolotl is endangered is as silly as to say shrimp or cows are endangered species.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:25 30/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Comparing the Axolotl survival status to shrimp and cows is fucking moronic.

    They aren't even close to being endangered in the wild and could easily thrive without human intervention, unlike Axolotl which will soon ONLY be able to survive in fisheries.(Until they're eaten :P)

    Cow worldwide pop.: ~1.5 billion, with over 280mill being worshipped in India.
    Shrimp pop.: Who the hell knows. They lay a fuckload of eggs and are fished by the millions of tonnes. There are probably a bazillion of them floating around in the ocean.
    Axolotl pop.: 700-1200 in the wild... 30k in the fishery in the above movie. Doesn't seem like the worldwide pop., even after factoring in the slave mudkips being eaten/experimented on, would equal a significant amount.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:55 29/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    So I guess all the sites saying they ARE critically endangered are lying emirite? Like this one:

    http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/1095/0/full

    "Justification: Listed as Critically Endangered because its Area of Occupancy is less than 10km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat and in the number of mature individuals."

    I /facepalm at people who think it's no big deal if they die off in wild because just because they're being breed in farms. Too bad the breed ones are pussies and would get owned in the wild since they aren't taught how to survive in a fish tank. Re-introduction would be next to impossible, especially after you introduced those foreign fish that eat their babies.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:10 29/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    you sir, just hit the nail

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact
    21:23 28/08/2009 # ! Incandescent

    More like a constant moderate popularity, mainly of Mexican food.

    Avatar of Elcachetondelpuro
    Comment by kyouki
    21:48 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Thanks a lot Artefact. Since you are well read about such topic, can you please tell me if some other mexican foods are known (or even are mild famous) in Japan besides tacos, burritos, and Axolotl?

    There are plenty; for example: mole (an spicy chocolate sause served with boiled chicken), sopes, tamales, quesadillas, enchiladas & chilaquiles.

    Comment by numpang lewat
    17:06 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    so I herd u liek Axolotl...

    Avatar of Butters
    Comment by t(*. *t)
    16:00 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    poor mudkip... well at least they die in tasty way =.=

    Comment by Carrot
    16:26 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    That would be written in English as "oopaloopa," methinks.

    Comment by Meno
    16:45 28/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's look like a lizard to me though.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:07 29/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    probably like deep fried fish
    will try :3

    Avatar of dzodzu
    Comment by dzodzu
    03:09 29/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    OMG! I had one years ago...

    Avatar of Tiedupinknots
    Comment by Tiedupinknots
    06:51 29/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    How was it? Tasty?

    Avatar of dzodzu
    Comment by dzodzu
    08:11 31/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I didn't eat it...

    Avatar of Tiedupinknots
    Comment by Tiedupinknots
    05:22 01/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why not??? Did it just die and go bad before you had the chance???? Or do you not like to crispy critters that you know personally?







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