FRUIT BAT SOUP

(this recipe is offered on the off chance that a reader may find himself in Micronesia, specifically the Caroline Islands, where this is a natural, native delicacy.)

3 fruit bats, well washed but neither skinned nor eviscerated

water

1 Tbs. finely sliced fresh ginger

1 large onion, quartered

sea salt to taste

chopped scallions

soy sauce and/or coconut cream

Place bats in a large kettle and add water to cover, the ginger, onion, and salt. Bring to boil and boil 45 minutes. Strain broth into second kettle. Take bats, skin them, discard skin. Remove meat from bones. Return meat and any viscera fancied to the broth. Heat. Serve liberally sprinkled with scallions and further seasoned with soy sauce and/or coconut cream. -- Yield: four servings

- from The New York Times Natural Foods Cookbook, by Jean Hewitt, 1971.