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Nauru Noddy Bird BBQ

Having discovered the national dish of Nauru, the coconut fish, I felt it was not time to stop, but indeed to keep on with Nauru food chronicles, so I asked our hosts what the real local delicacy was. I was told the Noddy bird.

The noddy bird, or to get all fancy-schmancy the “black noddy” is a seabird that hangs out in Nauru that locals catch in a net then BBQ up. I’d set us up with a last night BBQ at the Menen Hotel and thus set up our local partner to source some noddy bird.

Purchasing the bird turned out to be a bit like a drug deal with us pulling into the wrong side of town with cash (2 bucks a bird), handing it over, and getting a bag of birds.

Come the beach barbecue it was the top thing everyone wanted to try. Taste-wise I didn’t know what to expect, having been informed it tasted like fish and beef I was certainly excited.

It seemed to take forever for the bird to cook, with for whatever reason it coming super well done. You then have a bird to eat pretty much whole. Yep head and everything.

The noddy BBQ head was as unappealing as you’d expect, but the actual meat of the bird (which there wasn’t much of) tasted like liver, really like liver. I was genuinely surprised at how good it tasted, although as a small bird work to meat ratio was a bit low. Although some loved it enough to have two birds.

So many delicacies are eaten for the freak show element alone, but for me, Noddy bird BBQ joins balut as a regional specialty I’d happily eat again.

Nauru food, you keep surprising me!

Written by Gareth

Gareth Johnson is the founder of Young Pioneer Tours, a published writer, and all round entrepreneur. He enjoys street food, and encourage others to get paid to travel the world.

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