Fishing for piranha to eat is not something you do every day, but it certainly is something you should try at least once.
I spent a week on a small ship cruise in the Amazon, cruising down the Rio Negro as well as the Amazon River on the a motor yacht named Tucano with Amazon Nature Tours. Each day we would hike the rain forest and take small launches through passages too large for our boat. We would explore the fauna and seek out wildlife. Monkeys chattered and sloths slept and caymans launched while rats screeched for mates and a world of wild birds flew around us. We visited local villages and ate the most delicious fare onboard, mostly local fish, of course.
And, one day, we fished for piranha. I am proud to say I caught one on my first try. We took them back to the boat where the crew cleaned them and the cook fried them up and then we feasted. We ate them with our hands, snapping off the heads and tails and fins, before biting into the delicious, flaky meat. You do have to be careful of the tiny bones, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a breeze. I was surprised at just how delicious they were. I could have easily eaten a dozen myself.
Being on that trip gave a whole new meaning to “eating local,” not to mention “living simple.” I went during the dry season in late September. I am very much looking forward to returning to the very same area during the rainy season as the same river and jungle present very differently when the water inches toward the treetops. This is one of those “get out of your comfort zone” trips that will change you. The people I met, the visions I saw, and the food I tasted changed me. For the better. I learned not just about the Amazon but also about myself and the way life could (perhaps should) be.