This week we came across a story of a UK student found guilty of animal cruelty. His victim was a hamster. Said hamster was found by British police – cooking in a frying pan! A quick search of ‘cruelty to hamsters’ revealed many more unusual treatments of said rodents. Here is not the forum to discuss them, other than to say Good Food Ireland does not condone animal cruelty in any form. We bring up the hamster in the pan subject for entirely different reasons. The largest member of the rodent family, the Capybara, (sometimes weighing in at up to 65kg) is considered quite a delicacy in central and South America. Each to their own, we hear you say. It may surprise you however, to find out the Catholic Church classes said rodent as a fish. Granted, Capybaras spend lots of time in water and have webbed feet, but such a classification ties Linnaeus in knots. As this came from the 16th century or thereabouts, when Linnaeus had not yet been born, we’ll allow the church that one. Apparently, this classification had to do with not eating meat nor fowl for the forty days of Lent. Unable to prevent the newly converted South American locals from dining on Capybara, classing it as a fish, therefore non-meat, expunged said problem, with a practical rather than strictly scientific solution. Irish Holy wells, usually pre-Christian in origin, would be a more local example. Unable to stop the newly converted going there, the wells normally had a Saint’s name attached to them. But this is an entirely different subject! Other non-fish creatures classed as fish and allowed to be eaten during Lent include puffins, sea turtles and barnacle geese. Thankfully the Easter Bunny survived all this! Can rabbits swim? Fish at Good Food Ireland restaurants is fish – and nothing but fish. The freshest Ireland has to offer!