Dismissing any health concerns one might have about eating her unconventional treat, They says her rodents are caught from rice fields and are good for you.
Is rat safe to eat? In what countries do they eat rats?While many of us consider rats to be pests and vermin, in some parts of the world they are a regular item on the menu. In many places around the globe, rat provides much-needed sustenance. You might be surprised to learn that as long as it isn’t diseased, rat isn’t the worst thing you could put in your body (from a nutrition standpoint).
In many cases, this is a way of life and tradition that has been handed down for generations. While the rats that people eat can be different species and come from different sources, typically they are wild animals caught specifically for food. People use a variety of traps to catch them, but never poison, as that would contaminate the meat and make it inedible.
The prevalence of rats
A specific reason for their popularity in Asia stems from the rat’s affection for rice. Rice is a mainstay food staple in a vast majority of east and southeast Asian countries, it is also grown agriculturally in large quantities. Rats love to get into the rice fields and eat as much as they can. This diet of rice and a relatively clean environment makes these rodents reasonably wholesome and safe to eat. According to many who eat them, this also makes them plump, tender, and delicious.
Countries that eat rat meat
So what countries eat rats? There are more than you would think as it is a viable and plentiful food source in places where a supermarket might not be right around the corner.
1. United States
Surprised by the first country on our list? Although most people across the United States have never eaten rat, it is a common practice for bushcraft survivalists to learn how to catch and prepare rat. Even Mousetrap Monday’s Shawn Woods has demonstrated how to catch and prepare rat in a survival situation in his video “Cooking and Eating Rats”!
Rat meat and in particular Mexican rat stew is a local tradition in the Mexican state of Zacatecas. Many people even believe that it can act as a cure-all and help treat ailments like diabetes, the flu, cough and even according to some older men, increase one’s virility. It is served commonly at restaurants and bars and is referred to locally as a hangover cure.
China is a big consumer of rat meat. It is commonly sold raw in Chinese meat markets, and can also be purchased cooked from various shops and street vendors. Some of the markets in China also offer live rats for sale. Buyers can then have the vendor kill and prepare the rat for cooking, or they can take their dinner home while it’s still alive.
Rat is prepared in various ways in China. This is partly a matter of personal taste and partly a matter of how many people it must feed. Grilled or barbecued rat is common and is a favorite with many. The rat will be gutted and skinned and then cooked over an open fire, usually with some type of sauce or seasonings applied. Cooked rat is frequently spitted on a long bamboo spear and sold by street vendors for people to eat as they walk.
4. Thailand, Vietnam, and Taiwan
Thailand, Vietnam, and Taiwan are other southeast Asian countries like Laos, Cambodia etc… are places where rats are on the menu. In some places, they are trapped and then kept caged until they are sold, but it is also quite common to see people selling cooked rats by the side of a main road that is outside the city limits. Not surprisingly, many roadside stands that sell cooked rat meat are set alongside large rice fields, so it is easy to replenish the supply when the pile of critters runs low.
People frequently buy several of these rodents to take home to eat, often as the main dish in a family meal. They are also sold by street vendors, as in China, as cooked rat skewered on a stick so that it can be carried and eaten easily.
The rat is the centerpiece of a festival menu in one part of northern India, where the Adi tribe celebrates a holiday each year by feasting on a special rat stew. Found in the southern Himilayas, this stew is something that the people there love but that people in other parts of the world might struggle to consume. It contains many rat parts boiled in a big pot and includes the liver, stomach, testes, intestines, fetuses, legs, and tails. Ginger, salt, and chili are added for flavoring. Additionally, rat meat is part of their regular diet as brown rats, house mice or any small rodents they can trap are consumed regularly and roasted or smoked.
Different Food In Different Places
Not everybody enjoys eating rats, but the people who do claim the meat is delicious. Tender and tasty, rat meat is usually easy to come by and is a way to add protein to almost any diet. People who enjoy eating rodents advise others to try rat before deciding it isn’t good to eat. It may turn out to be a surprise hit at dinner.
In the video below, you can see Cook Rats Meat Recipe – Rat Meat Is Considered A Specialty In Many Countries
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Video source: Kitchen Foods