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When I said “I do” nineteen years ago, it was with full knowledge that I was marrying a hunter.  Stephen had two uncles in particular who loved fishing and hunting, and he accompanied them many times out onto lakes and into woods, usually at ungodly hours of the day, or in unpleasant weather conditions.

Our second date may have been an early relationship test:  I arrived to find that our plans had been changed, that a deer was hanging in the barn and needed to be dressed.  This was a time sensitive issue, I was told.  Was I okay with helping out?  Having spent significant amounts of time in markets in Spain, I found it interesting, and actually learned where to find a filet mignon on an animal.  (And there was a third date…)

Since that time, things have cycled entirely out of control gotten more and more interesting.  Once a year around the holidays, Stephen puts on his game face, or rather, Stephen shops for big game.

His accomplice?  Adventure in Food Trading.  Meet Eric Guenther, the president, who has personally guided Stephen through the aisles, and is always ready with recipe ideas.

This year we had Chicken of the Tree (iguana), served with faro in a Marsala wine sauce, Saudi Sliders (ground camel) with middle Eastern spices, and Octopus Fra Diavolo over penne.  Not a single slider remained after guests passed through the buffet line, and precious little iguana, either.  The friends and family crazy enough to return every year who enjoy trying new foods cherry-picked their way through the octopus, leaving only pasta in sauce.

Previous adventures in holiday eating:

  • Jumping Jumbalaya (kangaroo)
  • Yakkety Yak (don’t talk back)
  • Greek Elk (prepared like lamb)
  • Ostrich Bolognese
  • Cajun Crocodile
  • Alligator Creole
  • Rabbit Risotto with truffle oil and shitakes
  • Turtle Kebabs
  • Antelope
  • Elk Meatballs
  • Wild Boar
  • Rattlesnake Quesadillas

If you have a chance, it is worth your time to stop by Adventure in Food Trading.  They are at 381 Broadway in Menands.  If the animals don’t appeal, take a look at their cheeses and other specialty items.

I bet they’ll ship, too.

About Claire Ziamandanis

Claire Ziamandanis is Professor of Spanish at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. Over her 20 years at the college, she has been a champion for study abroad, establishing the first affiliation for Spanish students, and then working with the Study Abroad office to open the doors to students from other majors. Claire loves travel, food, wine and Spanish but not necessarily in that order!


  1. That’s quite the list of foods. Being a mostly non-meat eating person for a majority of my life, my most adventurous experience was when I ate a late night street vendor meal in Sevilla after a long day of dancing during Feria. Turns out, my chicken was really lamb. Also turns out that not everything “tastes like chicken.” – It was also the only time I missed those 24 hour 7-11’s we have here in the states. Don’t people get hungry after being out that long drinking and dancing?

    • Claire Ziamandanis

      Yeah, I can’t see lamb ever tasting like chicken! The iguana was really great, though – light and dark meat, like a chicken, but more flavor.

      You couldn’t find churros on your way home from a night out ANYWHERE in Spain???

  2. Hmmmm…..Sounds a little better than my chicken breast and salad lunch. Any chance that some of this makes its way to The Port?

  3. Love Adventures in Food! We (bV) buy from them and Eric has always been incredibly nice and helpful. I love going through their catalogue . . . it’s a bit like fantasy food shopping!

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