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Which Countries Eat Rats in 2024?

United States

Although this may be surprising, the first country on the list is the United States. While many Americans that interact with each other will not have eaten a rat, it is extremely common for bushcraft survivalists and those with emergency survival training to learn how to catch, cook and eat all available food sources, including rats. Rodents are not well known for their meat, as they are relatively small and may carry many diseases. If the rat is clean, it can be turned into a simple dish that you can make in a pinch. Survivalists are often taught to cook rat jerky, which can clean the rat of its impurities and make it safe for eating.

West Virginia has a traditional local cuisine that includes rats as the main ingredient. West Virginian rat sew is a delicacy, where the cleaned and skinned rats are cut up and dropped into a hot broth. The stew is made with onions, garlic, and local vegetables that are usually served at traditional gatherings, or even as dinner. Although this is not very common, certain households will sometimes add rat stew to their menu from time to time.

Mexico

Although it is not as popular, some local traditions include the rat as a customary dish. The Mexican state of Zacatecas, for example, has a stew called Caldo de rata. It has been served in this region since times of colonization and is believed to cure common ailments, such as a cold, cough, the flu, or even increase male virility. It is not popular with younger generations but has found itself back in favor at times since it is a local tradition that must be safeguarded for newer additions to the family.

The soup is made with rat meat and a large number of hearty vegetables, all brought together into one big boiling broth. Finally, it is seasoned with oregano. You can find this dish at bars and restaurants, where it is marketed as a cure for severe hangovers.

China

China has the largest population in the world and is one that is well-known for having many exotic dishes and meats to feed its large population. In China, various meat markets sell raw and clean rat meat, which can be used for various dishes. Sometimes, these markets will also sell live rats to show that they are properly healthy and can be purchased for a lower price. The vendor can either be paid extra for killing, skinning, and preparing the rat, or can be bought wholly if one knows how to properly clean it.

Alongside the markets, various restaurants also add rat dishes to the menu. While the other examples have been soup and stews, which are the easiest way to add any ingredient and ask for the taste, grilled and barbecue rat is not uncommon at restaurants. The rat is gutted, skinned, and cleaned while being cooked over a roasted fire. it is served with vegetables, seasoning, and special sauces.

- In many countries not shown, rat consumption may not be a cultural norm, but may still be practiced by individuals or small demographic groups.

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Country
Rats Eaten
Notes
Cambodia
China
Rat meat dishes are popular in many restaurants, such as those in the city of Guangzhou's Panyu dist...
Ghana
India
In the Indian state of Bihar, the Dalit people are known as "rat eaters" and tend to the crops of we...
Indonesia
Laos
Malawi
Field mice and rats are a popular delicacy and are often hunted in corn fields.
Mexico
In Mexican states such as San Luis Potosí and Zacatecas, one of the most popular dishes is "Caldo de...
Myanmar
Nigeria
The African giant rat is regarded as a special delicacy and its meat is more expensive than beef or ...
Philippines
Thailand
United States
Although rat is rarely eaten in most states, rat stew is a traditional dish in West Virginia.
Vietnam
showing: 14 rows

How many countries eat rats?

China is probably the most famous country where rat meat is readily available, but rat consumption is also a practice in many other countries, including the United States and Mexico.

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