River Rats Are Poised To Become The Next Big Thing In Adventurous Dining

Life & Culture Editor


So you’ve tried alligator, scorpions, and even those crunchy seahorses that are frozen in time, deep-fried, and then skewered on a stick for your consumption? But have you tried Russian river rats? No? Sad news for you, friend: You’re now behind the curve — because river rats prepared in every way imaginable are about to become the next international taste sensation.

River rat burgers! River rat dumplings! River rat sausage! This is happening!

If your immediate reaction to hearing that rats are now being offered as food fit for humans is revulsion, we get it. But the man who’s bringing the river rat revolution to the world thinks that your compunctions are misinformed. According to Takhir Kholikberdiev, the chef and restaurateur who’ll be adding the menu item to Moscow’s Krasnodar Bistro, the rats — otherwise known as coypu or nutria — are clean, herbivores, and also practice good hygiene. Plus, rats are high in Omega-3 acids (essential for your health).

Kholikberdiev says that doctors recommend eating the rodent, and while support isn’t yet overwhelming, a 1997 article from The New York Times suggests that the only reason we’re not eating Nutria is their perception as nothing more than roadkill. And who wants to eat roadkill?

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