German catering company turns invasive species into haute cuisine

Holycrab!/Facebook

A Berlin food truck is opening people’s minds and mouths with an invasive species menu with the slogan “If you can’t beat ’em, eat ’em!” »

Serve Louisiana crayfish, baked nutria, Chinese crab, carp sandwiches, Nile geese, raccoon steak and more, Holycrab! helps control invasive populations and teaches people that not all dinners have to consist of farm animals.

While humans have largely reduced their consumption of animal protein to less than ten species, invasive populations around the world are causing billions of dollars in damage and possibly a third of all extinctions.

Holy Crab! began when business consultants Lukas and Juliane Bosch learned that Louisiana crayfish were invasive in the city of Berlin. With crayfish being a local specialty in the United States for its lobster-like taste, they soon teamed up with Berlin gourmet chef Andreas Michelus to design a crawfish-based menu for a food truck and began buying from a licensed fisherman.

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Now the menu has expanded to include the raccoon, which is hunted to control the population. Nile goose in green sauce was added when farmers complained that invasive geese were eating their crops of watercress and sorrel (the main ingredients in green sauce).

Holycrab!/Facebook

“We deliberately started with the food truck to try new recipes and have the opportunity to talk to people.” Lukas Bosch explains. “For example, the Chinese mitten crab came from China to Germany about 100 years ago on cargo ships. It’s grotesque how they grow and thrive here. The Chinese pay a premium for them because the water pollution has made it a rarity in China.

The couple were inspired by the “invasive” movement led by environmentalist Joe Roman of the University of Vermont, who runs the Eat the Invaders website. There are recipes for nutria, garlic mustard, Japanese knotweed, Asian crab, lion fish, etc.

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Even in one of the most competitive food markets in Europe, Holycrab! picked up the 2020 Eat! Berlin prices.

Their work is a sign that even in a modern metropolis, with something as small as a food truck, people can still work to protect their ecosystems.

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