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Something, something, fat Israeli hedgehogs


This little feller was brought into an Israeli animal rescue because he was too fat to run away. He weighed 1.6 kilos when he arrived; he should be 600-900 grams. They’re seeing a lot of this. They think the hedgies are getting into food left out for stray cats.

Stray cats and hedgehogs: two things I don’t really associate with the Holy Land, somehow.

I mean, I knew about African pygmy hedgehogs, which are the breed they make into domestic pets, but I generally thing of hedgies as British, Beatrix Potter-y things.

But no. I am wrong.

Hedgehogs are a food source in many cultures. Hedgehogs were eaten in Ancient Egypt and some recipes of the Late Middle Ages call for hedgehog meat. Hedgehogs are traded throughout Eurasia and Africa for traditional medicine and witchcraft. In the Middle East and especially among Bedouins, hedgehog meat is considered medicinal, and thought to cure rheumatism and arthritis. They are also said to cure a variety of illnesses and disorders from tuberculosis to impotence. In Morocco, inhaling the smoke of the burnt skin or bristles is a purported remedy for fever, male impotence, and urinary illnesses. The blood is sold as a cure for ringworm, cracked skin and warts and the flesh is eaten as a remedy for witchcraft. Romani people still eat hedgehogs, boiled or roasted, and also use the blood and the fat for its supposed medicinal value. During the 1980s, “hedgehog-flavour” crisps were introduced in Britain, although the product did not contain any hedgehog.



Comment from Uncle Al
Time: January 4, 2018, 10:16 pm

Cue Twilight Zone theme music!
(scroll to end of comments)

Comment from Sigivald
Time: January 4, 2018, 11:19 pm

On cats, evidently Istanbul has a thriving and generally well-supported street cat population.

“Stray cats” might well be the most universal thing in human experience, anywhere cats can breed.

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: January 4, 2018, 11:47 pm

Eating hedgehog makes a lot of sense, at least as a party food. After roasting or frying or however you cook one, you just slice between the quills both ways.

Then just grab a piece… no need to put out toothpicks or little forks or skewers.

Comment from Bob
Time: January 5, 2018, 4:17 am

Roly-poly hedgehogs… Someone needs to invent hedgehog bacon.

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: January 5, 2018, 11:19 am

Hedgehog-flavored CHIPS? I… I need to know more. Or less. I’m not sure which.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: January 5, 2018, 2:27 pm

@Steve Skubinna—your barbecue parties must be a hoot!

Comment from drew458
Time: January 5, 2018, 4:14 pm

Anyone who puts food out for outdoor cats soon learns that every creature out there likes kitty kibble. Not just cats, dogs, raccoons, and opossums, but little songbirds, deer, bears, and even some snakes. So I’m not a bit surprised that hedgehogs nom it up too. Plus, most kibble is made with the secret ingredient addictium (pyrophosphate), so once they try it they come back for more.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: January 5, 2018, 5:38 pm

I take it Ol’ Tubby there is reading 1477 grams, or 1.477 kg? If he weighed 14.77 pounds, he’d be gigantic, or dead.

People are taking them as pets? They’re not too spiny to handle?

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: January 5, 2018, 9:24 pm

Before she became “our cat”, our cat used to break into the bags of dog food my neighbor had on his back porch.

Now she sits on the kitchen table and tears up insurance “this is not a bill!” bills if I don’t keep her majesty fed and amused to her satisfaction.
When she’s not trying to get high by eating the spider plant.

Comment from chicken farmer
Time: January 5, 2018, 11:00 pm

Where I come from these creatures are known as mowdy-warps. Rap them on the head, gut them, roll them back into the ball then clad in thick clay. 40 minutes or so next to the fire and crack open the clay. Many YUMM!
BTW, their annoying lumps in the grass are known as mowdy-tumps and give a good reason for looking for the little buggers there.

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