Food - Drink
Why Capybara Was Once Considered A Fish
When you think of rodents, you probably imagine mice and rats, but rodent is a broad category including beavers, porcupines, guinea pigs, and the largest of the rodents, capybaras. While capybaras may officially be rodents, depending on where you are and who you ask, some people might tell you they’re fish.
When Spain colonized Venezuela in the 16th century, Roman Catholic missionaries assumed control of much of the country. During this time, resident clergymen acquired a taste for capybara. Not wanting to give up capybara meat during Lent, the clergymen petitioned the Vatican for capybaras to be qualified as fish.
Their argument was based on the process of drying capybara meat in salt before serving, giving it a somewhat fishy taste, and the fact that capybaras are semiaquatic and have partially webbed feet. The Vatican agreed and has not yet changed its stance, which is why capybara is still a Lent staple for Venezuelans.