Sunday, 27 September 2009

Roast rats, anyone?

Talking about rats running around free and naked at the Campbell Street wet market in George Town, someone pointed out to me that in Thailand, roast rats make a great delicacy. That was very intriguing information; intriguing enough for me to look it up on the Internet.

But first, I thought that roast rats are only sold in southern China but obviously, my news is rather out-of-date. They are more widespread than I thought: there are roast rats sold all the way from India, through the whole Indo-Chine region and into China. That's one huge region! And according to a Reuters report, Cambodia exports about 50 tons of rats to Vietnam every day:

The rains in the Mekong Delta area have helped boost the Cambodian trappers' catch, as more rats rush out from their flooded holes and into waiting cages.

"There were so many rodents we just can't eat them all, so we need to export lots more to Vietnam," Cambodian rat trader Kang Chanthan told Reuters. "It's good business."

"If you prepare them well and fry the meat with garlic and put some mint on it, they're tastier than chickens," he added.

The rat hunters (or, rat farmers??) are making good profits from their huge bounty, especially since the price of a rat is many times higher than an equivalent piece of chicken meat or pork. Man, if rats are such delicacies in this region, why hasn't any enterprising person turn this into a business in Malaysia yet? I'm confident there will be lots of enthusiastic people who can't wait to pick at the pieces of roast rat meat with their dainty little fingers, dip the meat into some tangy chilly sauce and slurp it all down with a glass of local kopi-oh. Or maybe, we should see whether our local vermin can be exported too. I'm sure that if Cambodia can export rats to their more advanced Vietnamese neighbours, Malaysia can also send our quality rats to, let's say, our more affluent Singaporean neighbours.

Note: This is a picture from the Internet. I haven't been so unlucky to have come across them any where in Malaysia!

1 comment:

stephen said...

I insist, you first! We've cases of foreign construction workers dining on our local rats going back home horizontal as the rats over here are a mite different from their usual field rats who having better nutritional habits!