Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Aug 16, 2012 09:55 AM


This may be a stupid question...despite the hoary admonition that the "only stupid question is the unasked question"...but are there any restaurants somewhere in the U.S. for adventurous Andrew Zimmern types that serve rat? I remember a news item from approximately 20 years ago that told of a fast food type restaurant in Asia (Hong Kong, if I remember right) where rats were served in the same way that chicken was served at Kentucky Fried. The selling point was that they served big country rats as opposed to city rats.

Obviously, there isn't going to be a long line among the general populace in the U.S. for fried, diced or stewed rat anytime soon, but I'm just wondering if it's a legal question, a question of cleanliness, or simply the cultural revulsion we in America (for the most part, I guess) have at the idea of consuming rats, whether they come from the country or the city?

Then again, I guess if anyone really got a hankering for rat, they could just put out a trap somewhere, wait awhile, and then cook up their "catch" in a Wok like Zimmern did recently in a remote part of Thailand (tail, bones, and all).

Enquiring minds want to know!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: small h

      If this woman had decided to open a restaurant specializing in rat it would be less annoying than this "art project" for folks who think "eating a rat will make them a more interesting person." Especially since they just ordered them through the mail from a laboratory supply house! Gah. New York City at its worst.
      And I'm not clutching my pearls about eating rats because I keep them as pets (which I do) - most rats that aren't pets don't live long happy lives. If you want to eat a rat, eat a rat. Just don't thump your chest about what a goddamned extreme rebel you are for doing it.

      1. re: ratgirlagogo

        My reaction to that story went like this: 1) Ew. 2) Yawn.

        Then again, if all bad art were edible, we could end world hunger in twenty minutes.

        1. re: small h

          And how. But I'm romantic enough to believe that even if edible, bad art would not provide any real physical sustenance, since it provides a kind of negative spiritual sustenance.

          1. re: small h

            as an art school grad, I believe, I HAVE to believe, the time spent among pretentious fucks and bad art (including many pieces involving food, animals and roadkill - Damian Hirst was popular at the time) is going to be refunded, if not in this life, then in purgatory.

            "Ben, the two of us need look no more
            We both found what we were looking for
            With my friend to call my own I'll never be alone
            And you my friend will see, you are a meal for me"

            1. re: hill food

              Unlike Willard, who was a meal for Ben. ;)

            1. re: ratgirlagogo

              Brava...especially when it's a breeder-raised animal prepared by a chef and for which you coughed up $100 a head. Yeah, that makes you some kinda badass.

              I also didn't miss the fact that all these folks paid $100, but yet the chef's budget was $400 -- he blew his budget...but that seems pretty skewed, even if it is "art" (annoying airquotes).

              1. re: small h

                Ugh - I couldn't get past the first paragraph or the first picture of that article.

                I guess as a pet-rat fancier, I just can't get past killing such intelligent creatures for something as stupid & egotistical as "artistic expression". Starvation is one thing; what this woman is doing is idiotic, egotistical, cruel, & nothing but blatant sensationalism.

              2. The original comment has been removed
                1. Maybe you could get some Nutria in cajun country, it's more or less an overgrown rat

                  1. Not rat, but La Mar in San Francisco (a US location of a Peruvian chain) serves guinea pig (with advance notice). They have a New York location also but I don't know if the serve guinea pig there.

                    1. I've eaten several highly suspicious meat meals in India. Learned not to ask what the ingredients were and wouldn't be surprised is I consumed some of the little rodent varmints.