Thursday, October 2, 2008


Not being a lover of all meats its hard sometimes to face beef or chicken with rice over and over again here in Cambodia and as mentioned below chicken (and beef) is also very expensive for Khmers who are lucky to earn $1 a day. Often when you ask what meat is in a dish the reply is "meat" (If you will lucky you will get someone mooing or doing a chicken dance but this is rare)... you then have to use judgement and common sense to figure out which animal it was. This is generally acceptable, if not ideal, when you know that the meat is one you would find in Sainsbury's.

However, a further challenge is identifying a new meat to come on to the meat scene - Rat meat. People are looking for an alternative to the expensive norms. Rats are ideal - they are everywhere and are free if you catch them yourself. And of cousre, if you have to many to eat sell them at the market. The demand in Vietnam is high too and many cambodians are going over the border to sell them to the Vietnamese.

However, perhaps even rats are not cheap enough these days. It has been reported that the price of rat meat has quadrupled in Cambodia this year. As more people struggle to afford conventional meats and more turn to the rat the demand has pushed a kilogram of rat meat up to around 5,000 riel (69p) from 1,200 riel last year. It is reported that spicy field rat dishes with added garlic are particularly popular. The provinces in the North have the tastiest rats....

Now where is the salt and pepper....

... a nation of big rat fans Roland would be pleased (The real pictures are too vile)

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