We Ate Rat Salad

By Lewis Wright and Bruno Bayley

The winter of discontent is on its way. The banks are fucked, the world is ending, essays to write and no money for food. Boo-hoo and so on, but have you ever thought about the nutritional nuggets that are scurrying about under your filthy floors, or behind your wheelie bin, or that are (allegedly) now for sale at the shops and stalls of Hackney's Ridley Road market? Because we’re so helpful, we’d like to show you how to prepare some delicious rat-based snacks with our easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide. Yum!

DISCLAIMER: Almost every rat in Britain has probably been living off human effluence and used condoms, so we don’t actually recommend you eat feral rodents.

 
People are repelled by rats, mainly because they’re associated with some of history’s great pandemics, and sewers. Some pest controllers find it hard to catch wild rats, which can be as big as cats and immune to poisons. The rats we bought frozen are for feeding pet snakes, and are considerably cuter than their streetwise cousins. Here is one on a clean chopping board, ready to go.   For the next few steps, you will want some latex gloves. Not only do they keep rat juice off your hands, they also make you feel like an evil surgeon and a sexual deviant. Not that our chef bothers, but it is a good idea to take off any jewellery while doing this as your rings may tear the gloves, or bits of rat might get stuck in them.

 


 
   
 
Step one in preparing your rat is to snip off the legs and tail. We know it would be a lot more exciting to eat a rat that actually looks like one, but leaving these bits on makes removing the fur a real ball-ache. On that note, if it’s a male, you might want to remove the balls too – they are big and tend to get in the way.   Once you have removed the rat’s extremities you need to make an incision just behind the head. Extend this cut until you can form a sort of pull-tab. This will be like a rat-fur zip.

 
   
 
Start to work the skin away from the supple pink flesh. The pelt should come away from the body fairly easily, so gently pull it towards the tail end while holding the head firmly. You can be pretty rough with this – unless you are really going for it, the head shouldn’t come off.   Once your rat is looking more like a sausage with a head than a real animal you can start to think about how you want to cook it. For our rat feast we decided to have a barbecue. This was in no way related to the fact that no one we know would let us cook rats in their kitchen.

 
   
 
For a bit of kick, we marinated one of our rats in Reggae Reggae Sauce. Reggae Reggae Sauce is great because it was on Dragons’ Den, it’s associated with happy Rastafarians, and it makes anything taste like Caribbean takeaway. It’s the new sweet chilli sauce.   If you've somehow made it to this point in your life without knowing how to barbecue, wait until the flames have died down and the coals are a nice ashy white-grey. This means the coals are at their optimum cooking potential.  When you have such fine ingredients you don’t want to spoil them with hasty cooking.

 
   
 
This is a rat-inspired take on the chip butty, a typical British dish. Simply take a low-quality white roll, slap some crumb-laden butter on it, and that’s the prep done. Once your piping hot rats are in the bun you can add a condiment of your choice. We opted for ketchup, because it's just a classic, isn't it?   This Mediterranean-style rat kebab with a side salad is far less heavy than the sort of kebab you might pick up on the crawl back to your lonely bed on a Friday night. What’s more, this will be lovely with a generous dollop of tzatziki, which you can knock up yourself using Greek yoghurt, cucumber and garlic.

 
   
 
This fresh rat salad is a lighter option for the rat gourmand. You can make a healthy dressing with olive oil and vinegar, or you can do what we did which is slosh a load of salad cream all over it. That knocks the healthy part on its head, but it’s quicker and less hassle.   Thankfully the rat we taste-tested was smothered in Reggae Reggae Sauce and could well have been polystyrene for all we knew. Overall, it’s nice to get back to nature and skin your food every so often, but there is piss-all meat on a rat and there are easier ways to get some protein. Also: it's a fucking rat. People don't eat rats.
     

More interesting things we've put in our mouths:

Girl Eats Food - Filipino Blood Stew

Loads of insects

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