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How do you like rat?

En ces temps de grève des éboueurs j’ai retrouvé une histoire qui pourrait nous donner des idées, les recettes sont à la fin de l’article

plutôt que d’éradiquer les surmulots comme le fait mon ami Aurouze, pourquoi ne pas les bouffer

Les Thailandais ont quelques recettes à nous proposer.

English text

How do you like Rat?

While the strike of garbage collectors is still on in Paris, here is an idea.

Cooked in a soup, 

On barbecue 

Or grilled with whisky

This post, of course,  is dedicated to vegan,

This is, maybe, the future of our world. 

a recipe:

The rats are first clubbed on the head, then their fur is singed off in a straw fire.

Rat recipes differ, but the most popular way of cooking the meat (which tastes a little like dried rabbit) is in boiling oil, spiced with lots of herbs and garlic.

THE BIGGEST RAT CATCH OF THEM ALL:

VILLAGERS JOIN FORCES IN THAILAND FOR A YEARLY RODENT WIPE-OUT AND RAT FEAST TO SAVE THE RICE HARVEST

To save 500 000 dollars of rice crops, the population of nine villages in Pathum Thani province in Thailand joined forces to knock out over 70 000 rats who lived in the fields feasting on the crops. Now it is the villagers’ turn to feast on the rats! From marinating rat meat in Mekong whisky to toasting it in garlic, recipes differ, but the feasting remains the same!

During rat hunting day in Pathum Thani Province in Thailand, a little rodent hardly has a chance. This year, it was on October 8 that the nine villages of this province decided to get their revenge on the tens of thousands of field rats that gnaw their way through several million baht (one million baht is worth about 50 000 dollars) /in less than a month.

Each year, the rats destroy the rice harvests causing losses that are estimated in terms of 500 000 dollars per annum. But, a few years ago, the villagers decided to turn this devastation to their own profit. Indeed, the field animals, fed on the best Thailand rice, are a delicacy in Southeast Asia and Japan. In fact, the market in Japan has become so important that some farmers have decided to actually raise and breed the rodents! The giant rat hunt makes it possible not only for the farmer to tend to his paddies of rice in peace, but also to have a chance at the prize money offered for the person who catches the most rats in the day.

The hunt starts out in the morning while farmers and their families, carrying clubs and other blunt instruments as well as baskets in which to lay the catch, spread out through the fields. In organized families, the children pound the ground in a semicircle, scaring the rats into the clutches of their waiting parents. The rats try to dive into their holes and hide, but the villagers rout them out, even using their tractors, when necessary. Rats are knocked out with clubs, and killed, for the most part, though some rodents get squashed in the scramble.

This year, Ban Chan villo – was the winner having captured an incredible total of 3. 543 rats out of the 73 343 field rodents taken by the nine villages assembled. The governo. of the province himself handed out prizes and trophies to the winning families. The last days of the rat hunt ended in an immense Rat Festival, unique in the world with canoe races, traditional dancing, and folk music. The province governor even had a special Anti Rat song composed for the occasion.

That animal lovers do not get scandalized by this treatment of Thailand rats, it must be said that the case is not the same as for the baby walruses in Canada… The rats are a menace to a whole region’s meager economy. One farmer reckoned that the rats had cost him 2 500 dollars a year in the years before the hunts became popular.

Also, the rats are not simply thrown away to rot, but the local population feels it a special treat to be able to eat them during the great Rat Feast! For the fact is, after the rats are caught, the villagers begin to prepare the meat for a great communal dinner. The freshly killed rats are thrown hastily onto a straw fire to burn off their fur. The carcasses are then taken down to the river and cleaned. Here, favorite recipes intervene in their diversity. Some cooks like to marinate the rat meat in a bit of Mekong Whisky before frying it.

Others like to conserve a pure rat taste by frying the meat for the most part, though some rodents get squashed in the scramble. directly. But by far the most popular m ethod is toimmerse the meat (which resembles rabbit meat, somewhat) in a pot of deep boiling oil, accompanied with a great deal of garlic and herbs.

It is true that rat meat is a specialty in these parts. A kilo of the meat, which when salted, keeps for months, can be bought for the equivalent of 75 U.S. cents a kilo which means good profits for the farmers. “I don’t see what all the fuss is about, one of them complained. “These rats are clean. They don’t forage in garbage, and they aren’t sewer rats, you know. They live in holes in the fields and feed only on rice.”

Some farmers are beginning to think of the rat hunt in terms of profitable commerce. As one said: “Preserved rat meat sells for 23 baht a kilo. That’s better than the price for chicken. And we’d never run short of meat, either, because rats breed very fas”. Indeed a couple of rats become the ancestors of as many as 1200 baby rats, grandchildren rats and great grandchildren rats in less than a year! Well, that surely sounds like good business, if there are enough people around to consume all that!


COLOR CAPTIONS

Local villagers in Pathum Thani province hold up their catch by the tail.

Everyone has fun at the RAT FAIR little children who were not allowed to participate in the hunt get their reward now, WHEN a few rats are let loose for them to catch in a bang.

Part of a family’s catch lays on a canvas sheet.

The rats are first clubbed on the head, then their fur is singed off in a straw fire.

Then they are taken to the river where boys clean them and ready them for the feast.

Rat recipes differ, but the most popular way of cooking the meat (which tastes a little like dried rabbit) is in boiling oil, spiced with lots of herbs and garlic.

Michel Setboun

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