Depending on where you come from, the words “rat meat” may either be appalling or appetizing to you. Considering that rats have had a bad reputation throughout history, it would make sense that you’d find rat meat the least appetizing thing you’d ever think of eating. However, despite being the primary cause of the bubonic plague and carriers of other diseases, not all rats deserve this terrible reputation.
Of course, it’s not wrong to believe that rats can bring diseases, and this is because they can. However, not all rats are dirty, nor do they carry such horrendous diseases. Believe it or not, rats are typical fare among different peoples worldwide. What’s more, these rat-based dishes aren’t eaten because there’s nothing else to eat. They’re sought out by different people and even cooked on special occasions!
Why Rats, Though?
You might be wondering why people in different places would eat rats. Well, because they’re good! But, before you go thinking these people are crazy, it’s first good to take note of a few things.
First, you must remember that not all rats live in your sewers or dumps. These rats are the kind that should not be eaten because they come from dirty environments and can carry those diseases people know rats for. However, some rats also live in the wild.
Rats are also commonly found in places such as forested areas and farmlands. Unlike where you’d usually find them in urban areas, rats in these places are exposed to cleaner and more “ideal” environments. As such, you’d expect them to be just as clean. It’s these rats that people commonly eat.
Despite all that, you might still wonder why people would eat them. Unfortunately, there isn’t one answer to this. People eat rats for a variety of reasons. For example, some people eat them because they’re easy to come by. On the other hand, other people eat them on special occasions. But, whatever the case may be, it’s undeniable that rats are enjoyed as a culinary staple in various parts of the world.
Where Do They Eat Rats?
If you think about where people eat rats like it’s a regular thing, would any places come to mind right away? Chances are, you might have a few hunches. There are also some places where you didn’t expect to have people who ate rats as part of their cuisine. But, all that aside, where can you find rat-based cuisines?
The Asian region may be one of the most common places where people eat rats as part of their daily fare. For example, Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines are places where eating a rat is normal. In Asia, it is also common to see a Chinese cooking rat. Finding a field rat is easy as there are many grasslands and farmlands in these regions. So, it would make sense that people in these areas would catch these tiny foragers and make them a part of their day-to-day meals. Typically, they’re cooked on an open fire.
Much like in Asia, rats are relatively abundant in Africa. There are many grasslands, farmlands, and forested areas in this region, and it’s very easy to find these little critters scuttling about. So, it would make sense that many people throughout Africa would also capture these wild rats and cook them for meals.
Even regions in the Americas have groups of people that eat rats. In Mexico, for example, a rat stew–called Caldo de rata–has been a considerable part of their culinary history. Until today, many Mexican peoples eat this stew. Some eat it as it makes for a hearty meal. But on the other hand, others eat it as it is believed to be a panacea for many different ailments.
You can even find a rat stew in West Virginia! Like Caldo de rata, this Virginian rat stew was once enjoyed as a locals traditional dish. Of course, it seems farfetched now, but even that is proof that there is something enjoyable in rat meat.
Is It Good Though?
If you’re wondering if it’s any good, it would depend on what you mean by “good” But, in terms of taste, it’s surprisingly good! Typically, rat meat is juicy and tender. Sometimes, it can be a little fatty, but not to the point that it isn’t enjoyable. So, it makes sense why people still eat it today.
Now, nutritionally speaking, rat meat is also pretty good. You could say that it makes for a hearty meal. This is because a fully grown rat is rich in fat and even richer in protein. As such, it would be a very nutritious source of food. What’s more, it’s also easier to acquire. Of course, you just have to make sure that it comes from clean places such as fields and grasslands.
Noah Thompson is an expert in rat relief, providing invaluable tips and advice on effective rat control. With extensive knowledge in rodent behavior, he simplifies complex concepts, empowering readers to confidently tackle rat infestations. Through workshops and seminars, Noah equips communities with practical skills while advocating for humane treatment and control of rats.