In fact, thanks to Man’s insatiable appetite for large marine predators that keep down the numbers of jellyfish, coupled with the jellyfish’s voracious appetite for fish eggs and larvae, the number of these creatures is out of control.
The occasional plague of jellyfish is a cyclical thing, going back thousands of years, but in the last decade, it’s stopped being ‘occasional’ and has become ‘constant.’ In fact, Jellyfish have now become so numerous in almost all the oceans of the world, some eggheads are talking of “a global regime shift from a fish to a jellyfish ocean;” in other words, goodbye fish, hello jellyfish.
On a positive note, however, the discovery of an ‘immortal jellyfish,’ Turritopsis nutricula, capable of reversing its aging process, could put them back on Man’s Christmas-card list as far as developing rejuvenation products goes.
Bearing all this in mind, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recommends that we eat the blighters; in other words, if you can’t beat them; eat them.
The Chinese and Japanese are not shy when it comes to popping the odd jellyfish down their gullet and one quarter of the world’s population can’t all be wrong, can they?
Ok, so what do they taste of? the answer is, nothing, not a sausage, bugger all, yet the medusa munchers claim that it is not so much their taste (or lack of it) but their texture. In Chinese or Mandarin, they call it ko-gan or ‘mouth-feel.’ Really? Then why is it, if you swallow one in the sea, the last thing you will be feeling is your mouth? But hey, let’s run with it.
So, how and where do you use them? Firstly, you only eat the tops or ‘hoods.’ You dry them out, slice them up into thin strips and marinate the blighters until they are thoroughly sorry that they ruined last year’s summer hols for you. You then throw them into a salad. It might not be the best salad you’ve ever had, but at least you will feel that you got your own back.
(News: Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)