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RATS--Taste just like chicken?

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  1. At least they are free-range wild rats

    "The field rats which Mr. Tam and his friends hunt are white and brown, with a diet rich in grain and snails."

    Nice ... recipes for rat too
    - GROUND RAT MEAT AND CHILI
    - RAT STEAMED WITH LEMON LEAVES
    - RAT STIR SAUTEED WITH SPRING ONION AND HERBS

    Even a video of rats being caught, prepared and enjoyed along with tips on how to select your rat "slightly chubby rats are the most sought after. A thin layer of fat adds more flavor to the meat and provides a satisfying sizzle when the chunks of rat meat are added to the frying pan"

    I dunno, I'd suspect my boss wasn't fond of me given an assignment like that.

    Kind of sad that people started turning to rat meat because of concerns about bird flu.

    I guess rat would meet two of the Twelve Commandments for Serious Eaters
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/485526

    6. "Better yet, buy food somewhere else: the farmers' market or CSA."

    8. "Eat a wide variety of species."

    Still ... there's the first commandment ....

    1. "Don't eat anything your grandmother wouldn't recognize as food."

    3 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      Regarding your #1: My great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, aunts and uncles ate rats and frogs for years in the Chinese countryside when they were hiding from the Japanese army. I'll have to ask my mom what rat tasted like, but it's hard to get her to give me details about that time.

      1. re: Claudette

        Yes, rats are not really a big (or new) deal in my culture. In fact, I will be seeing someone who's eaten rats and will ask him what they taste like.

      2. re: rworange

        OT warning. If I only ate what my grandmother recognized, I wouldn't be lurking around chow.com. She eats very little seafood (tuna from a can and scallops come to mind, nothing else), overcooked beef and chicken, and is "allergic" or doesn't like strawberries, raspberries, and pineapple. My poor mother thought she didn't like steak until she married my father; it was always shoe-leather when she was growing up, and she never knew why it was a special dinner.

        On a recent trip to my octogenarian grandparents' house with my two DS, I decide to have a conversation in hopes that they'll be polite if they don't like lunch. (My 3yo currently eats no meat other than calamari and chicken nuggets.)

        Me: GM tries very hard to serve something we'll like, but if you don't like it, please don't say it's yucky.
        DS(3): I like chicken nuggets.
        Me: We probably won't get chicken nuggets.
        DS(3): I like squid.
        Me: I can assure you we won't get squid.
        DS(5): Why?
        Me: GM doesn't like squid.
        DS(5): Why?
        Me: Well, she's probably never tried it.
        DS(5): Does she like any tentacle food?

        I don't think I'll share this rat conversation with the dear GM ;-)

      3. certain detroit/michigan residents have been eating rats for years...

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musk_rat

        (go to the "history & use by man" section)

        1 Reply
        1. re: mark

          A musk rat seems closer to a beaver than a rat.

        2. Are you sure? Maybe it's chicken that tastes just like rats? Which came first, the chicken or the rat?

          1. People in this country eat possum. A rodent is a rodent.

            3 Replies
              1. re: Allstonian

                I stand corrected. They're still eaten.

                1. re: ML8000

                  Well, many Americans eat squirrels, and they are most certainly a rodent! Maybe that's what MSL8000 was thinking of? Some Americans also celebrate and feast on food such as snails, snakes, alligator, turtles, frogs (if only the legs), and lots of other very strange creatures. So what's so terribly different about rats?

                  In a way how far this country's mainstream has come dietarily may be reflected in our meats of choice: Mild domesticated animals (cows, pigs, lambs and chickens) that do not require any of the dangers or physical hardships asssociated with hunting to put meat on the table.

                  Is America a country of food wimps? '-)

            1. When there is no food and you are poor, you will eat anything. I used to listen to all the junk my dad ate as a student/refugee running away from the Japanese during the war in China. We always seemed to talk about it after some particularly satisfying feasts too, kind of a : "remembering where you came from" thing.

              1 Reply