Rat for Breakfast

Yesterday morning we got up at the crack of dawn to catch a bus from Udomxai to Luangprabang. We grabbed a breakfast of traditonal Lao noodle soup, but despite its great flavor, it just didn't satisfy. So, at the bus station, I decided to grab a snack to tide me over.


Now THAT looks tasty.


Big and juicy...


I don't know, man...

But I did take the plunge and eat several big bites of roasted rat. And not only was it roasted, it was also stuffed with onions and herbs, though the guts were not removed, and smushed out of the side when I squeezed.

How did it taste? Really really gamey and rat-like. Stringy. Pretty much as you'd expect a rat to taste. There were still traces of fur around the feet and head, and even some red rodent blood in the meat.

It became clear early on that I wouldn't finish the delicacy, so I handed it to a Lao guy next to me, who promptly dug in, but not without giving me the legs first, which evidently are the tastiest bits.

He in turn had a few bites and gave the rest to an old lady selling fried dough, who in turn wrapped it up and SAVED IT FOR LATER.


Mmm-mmm good!

Eating rat reminds me of a section from Monty Python's "Dead Bishop Sketch:"

K: Wha's for afters?

M: Rat cake, rat sorbet, rat pudding, or strawberry tart.

K: (eyes lighting up) Strawberry tart?

M: Well, it's got some rat in it.

K: 'Ow much?

M: Three. Rather a lot, really.

K: Well, I'll have a slice without so much rat in it.

Voice over: One slice of strawberry tart without so much rat in it later:

K: (putting down fork and knife) Appalling.