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Native to Central and South America, the armadillo is a piglike creature with bony armor. Jointed plates, which cover the back and sides of the animal, look like the armor worn by medieval knights. They protect the armadillo from attacks by enemies and from thorns and cactus. When danger threatens, some species are able to roll up into tight round balls, with nothing showing but the thick, hard plates on their backs.

The armadillo is a timid creature with very poor eyesight. It depends almost entirely upon its senses of hearing and smell for guidance. It has short legs, but when alarmed it can run with considerable speed. The animal's digging claws enable it to bury itself in an incredibly short time. It makes its burrow in the dry soil of arid regions. By swallowing air to make itself buoyant in water, the armadillo can be a good swimmer. It feeds at night, largely on insects, worms, roots, fruits, and sometimes carrion. Its flesh is occasionally eaten as a delicacy.

Armadillos belong to a group of toothless or nearly toothless animals. They are usually brownish black, marked with yellow above and yellowish white underneath. The female normally bears two to 12 young at a time. They come from a single egg, or ovum, and are all the same sex. The three-, six-, and nine-banded armadillos--belonging to Tolypeutes, Euphractus, and Dasypus genera, respectively--are named for the number of movable bands in their armor. Species may range in length from about 6 inches (15 centimeters) to 5 feet (1.5 meters).

From Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia 1998, The Learning Company, Inc.


Sally's Armadillo Something or Other	

Amount	Measure	Ingredient	Preparation Method
1		Armadillo	
1/2	c	Salad oil	
3/4	c	Vinegar	
2	c	Water	
1	tb	Salt	
1		Onion sliced	
1/2	c	Salad oil	
1	lb	Smoked pork sausage	
		Cut into bite size pieces	
2	lg	Onions chopped	
4		Stalks celery, chopped	
1	lg	Bell pepper, chopped	
2		Cloves garlic, chopped	
1	sm	Can mushroom steak sauce	
4	tb	Worcestershire	
1	tb	Monosodium glutamate	
1	lg	Can mushrooms	
1 1/2	c	Dry red wine	
1	bn	Parsley, chopped	
1	bn	Green onions, chopped	
1		Lemon	

   Armadillo is cleaned similarly to turtle.  Clean and cut into serving
pieces. Marinate the meat in a sauce made by combining salad oil,
vindgar, water, salt and onion.  Marinate for 24 hours.  Drain meat
and place in a glass container.  Pour 1 quart of red wine over meat
and let it stand for 6 to 8 hours in refrigerator.  Remove meat and
let drain for 1 hour.

   Place oil in black iron pot brown sausage and armadillo.  Remove
armadillo, but leave sausage in the pot.  Add onion, celery, bell
pepper, garlic and saute with sausage until vegetables are tender.
Add the steak sauce, Worcestershire, salt pepper and monosodium
glutamate. Stir until well mixed.  Put armadillo meat back into pot.
Add enough water to cover meat. Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and
simmer covered for one hour. Turn pot by handle back and forth to
stir. Add mushrooms and wine, slowly stirring them into pot. Sprinkle
parsley and onion tops and lay thin lemon slices on top. Simmer
without cover for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve over rice.


Smoked Armadillo Chops	

Amount	Measure	Ingredient	Preparation Method
1	tablespoon	Vegetable oil	
4	slices	Bbacon, thick	cut in 1/2" pieces
2	medium	Onions	halved lengthwise,
		and thinly sliced	
2		Garlic cloves	minced
8		Juniper berries	bruised
3	cups	Rinsed, drained sauerkraut	
1	large	Red apple	peeled, quartered,
		cored and grated	
1		Baking potato	peeled, grated
1	cup	Dry white wine	
3/4	cup	Apple cider or juice	
1/2	cup	Chicken broth or water	
4		Smoked armadillo chops	
		(10 ounces each,  1-inch thick)	
8	small	New potatoes	
1	teaspoon	Minced fresh parsley	
		Coarse-grained mustard	
		Salt	to taste
		Freshly-ground black pepper	to taste

   Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat.  Add bacon and 
cook until crisp and golden-brown.  Transfer bacon to paper 
towels.  Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from pot.  Add 
onions and cook over medium heat until translucent, stirring 
occasionally, about 10 minutes.  Add garlic and juniper berries 
and stir 2 minutes.  Mix in sauerkraut, apple and grated 
potato.  Add wine, cider and enough broth just to cover 
sauerkraut.  Bring mixture to boil, stirring frequently.  Add 
garni.  Cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring mixture occasionally.

   If sauerkraut is too liquid, uncover and stir over medium-
high heat to reduce.  Remove garni.  Season sauerkraut with 
salt and pepper.  Mix in bacon.  (Can be prepared one day 
ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

   Preheat over to 350 degrees.

   Spoon 2/3 of sauerkraut into shallow baking dish just large 
enough to accommodate armadillo chops and new potatoes in 
single layer.  Arrange armadillo over sauerkraut.  Spoon 
remaining sauerkraut over.  Cover tightly with foil.  (Can be 
prepared 6 hours ahead; chill.  Bring to room temperature 
before baking.)  Bake until heated through, 35 minutes.

   Meanwhile, peel narrow band from center of each new potato. 
Place potatoes in large saucepan.  Cover with cold salted water 
and bring to boil.  Cover and boil until potatoes are just 
tender, 15 to 20 minutes; drain.

   Tuck potatoes into sauerkraut.  Cover and bake 10 more 
minutes.  Divide sauerkraut, armadillo and potatoes among 
heated plates.  Sprinkle potatoes with parsley.  Serve with 

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