Of the Iguana

Furthermore in these Indies, as well in the firm land as in the Islands, there is found a kind of serpent, which they call Y.V. anas, which some call luannas. These are terrible and fear-full to sight, and yet not hurt-full. They are very delicate to be eaten, and it is not yet known whether they be beasts of the land or fishes, because they live in the water, and wander in the woods and on the land. (...) They are much better to bee eaten then to behold. For few that see them, will have desire to eat of them, by reason of their horrible shape except such as have been accustomed to the beasts of these regions, which are more horrible and fear-full, as this is not but only in appearance. Their flesh is of much better taste then the flesh of conies and more wholesome. For it hurts none but only such as have had the French pox. In so much that if they have only been touched of that infirmity, although they have been hole of long time, nevertheless they feel hurt and complain of the eating of these Iuannas, as hath been often times proved by experience.

Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés, 1526

From: La Natural hystoria de las Indias
by Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés, 1526
contained in:
The first three English books on America.
Being chiefly translations, compilations, &c., by Richard Eden, from the writings, maps, &c., of Pietro Martire, of Anghiera (1455-1526) Sebastian Münster, the cosmographer (1489-1552) Sebastian Cabot, of Bristol (1474- 1557) with extracts, &c., from the works of other Spanish, Italian, and German writers of the time.
Edited and compiled by Edward Arber, Published 1885 in Birmingham
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