Rodents are simply a master of taste
There was a news report last week about the arrest on the Cambodian border of a gentleman smuggling 800kgs of dead rats. Imagine that. There are plenty of ways to make money through smuggling, but bootlegging deceased rodents is not one that immediately springs to mind.
What is sometimes forgotten is that throughout Southeast Asia many regard roasted rodents as a delicacy. These rats are somewhat different to those fearsome creatures that regularly sneak out of Bangkok's sewers, worthy of a B grade horror movie. The edible field rats, known in Thailand as noo phook (Bandicoot rats), are in fact quite a lucrative business, especially in rural areas.
Gourmets will be pleased to learn that apart from the roasted variety, you can have rats poached, baked, grilled, fried or even sautéed. But don't expect to see "Today's Rat Special" on the menu at the Oriental. If you do fancy a taste of rat make sure it's well done or you may have a bad case of the Rat's Revenge, or to use the official medical term, the Galloping Trots.
Bangkok Post columnist
A long time popular Bangkok Post columnist. In 1994 he won the Ayumongkol Literary Award. For many years he was Sports Editor at the Bangkok Post.
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