Bats in the Pantry

ISBN 10: 1598720546 / ISBN 13: 9781598720549
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Synopsis: 162 mouth-watering recipes made with ingredients that include spices or plant foods either protected by bats or brought directly to us by bats. Enjoy unique dishes like Black Beans with Figs, Artichoke Tomato Alfredo, Pineapple Mango Salad, Cold Raspberry Soup, Margarita Fajitas, Beer and Eggplant Pasta, Artichoke Pie, Carrot-Coconut Bread, Spinach Penne, Pistachio Burgers, Beer Rolls, Avocado Eggnog, Watermelon Margarita, Chocolate Tequila Bread Pudding, Blueberry Brownies and Pumpkin Scones. Includes an enlightening section on the bats/plants connection. A novel way to learn while cooking!

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.: Foreward:

Roughly one out of every five mammals on earth is a bat. Despite that rather amazing number, they are one of the most endangered land mammals in North America. Consider this, if your day includes soap, shampoo, cosmetics, a toothbrush and toothpaste, coffee, margarine, paper or ink, cushions, wood furniture, fuel or lubricating fluids, rope or twine, timber, boats or canoes, ornamental trees, life saving medicines, air fresheners, candles, rubber, chewing gum, spices, vegetables, fruits, chocolate or even margaritas or beer, you are not only involved with bats, you are dependent upon bats. Yes, it is true.

Bats date back approximately 50 million years but they have been maligned for decades and viewed as pests because it was believed they would get tangled in your hair, suck your blood and the odd bat would occasionally turn into Count Dracula. The truth of the matter is that they have long played essential roles in our lives and their loss today would compromise the health and stability of our environment.

Despite fables and myths about their demeanor and eyesight, bats are gentle and clean by nature, grooming their bodies about one third of the day. Bats are not blind, nor do they want to get tangled in your hair. If a bat swoops down toward a human, they are hunting the bug that is hunting you. They are not interested in your hair. Bats can see almost as well as you or I, and most bats are also equipped with a sophisticated built in sonar system that allows them to navigate through total darkness. Their unique echolocation ability surpasses current scientific understanding and on a watt-by-watt, ounce-per-ounce valuation they are literally millions of times more efficient than any similar system developed by humans. Amazed? Well there's more, so hang onto your measuring cups, sit down with your favorite beverage and keep reading.

Bats are not flying mice nor are they even remotely related to rodents. Because of their unique abilities and appearance, scientists have placed them in a group all their own - Chiroptera, which means hand-wing because a bat's wings are simply elongated fingers that are covered with a delicate skin membrane to form a flight surface. There are nearly 1,200 different species of bats, found everywhere except the most extreme polar regions, but only 45 of those species reside in the United States and of those 45 species, 56% are endangered or are official candidates for the list.

Eighty percent of all bats are insect eaters, who feed on a tremendous diversity of bugs including the pests that consume the crops we need to survive. Each bat eat is capable of eating a whopping 5,000 insects per night. The 22 million bats (the single largest warm blooded mammal colony population on earth) that roost at Bracken Cave in Texas, eat 250 tons of insects each summer evening. Bats save farmers billions of dollars annually thereby keeping down consumer costs at the market place. About twenty percent of bats eat nectar and fruit (although there is one fish eating bat, one frog eating bat and three vampire bats, but that's another book).

Nectar feeding bats pollinate many valuable plants and trees including wild banana, avocado, date, fig, mango, eucalyptus and balsa wood just to name a few. Fruit bats are sometimes called flying foxes because of their fox like faces, however, some fruit bats are extremely tiny while the largest of them is about the size of a small house cat. It is the fruit bats that are responsible for 98% of the reforestation of the world's rain forests (the lungs of our planet). Without fruit bats we would lose entire forests without felling a single tree.

As a tribute to these little agricultural vacuum cleaners in the sky, controllers of fruit flies, dispersers of seeds, and pollinators of products we both need and desire, we have compiled a specialty cookbook based on the foods and spices for which we are eternally grateful to bats for protecting, pollinating and preserving for our enjoyment.

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Title: Bats in the Pantry



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