Recently, airlines have been offering consumers low rates on flights to Russia. Should you be lucky enough to cop one of those tickets and visit, you might want to make sure you stay out of the local burger joints. In fact, just avoid ordering a hamburger in Russia at all. While you may miss American food and seek the comfort of a hot and juicy beefy slice of heaven stuffed in a bun, there’s a little more on the menu in Moscow. This fall, restaurants are serving a delicacy in Russia—rat burgers.
Chef Takhir Kholikberdiev added the Russian river rat, the coypu, to the menu at Krasnodar Bistro. The large, orange-toothed rat, which is found in Southern Russia, is served as a gourmet burger in many restaurants in Russia. According to a Guardian reporter who unfortunately had to taste the delicacy, the rat burger is “pale, juicy and fairly bland, somewhere between turkey and pork. It came in a soft bun, with plenty of relish and served on a chopping board.”
Exotic eaters should know that the Russian river rat, also known as the “nutria,” is actually nutritious and safe to eat. According to chef Kholikberdiev, “It’s a really clean animal … Not only is it a herbivore but it washes all its food before it eats. And it’s very high in omega-3 acids. A lot of doctors and dietitians recommend it.”
If you’re wondering, Russia isn’t the only nation with rats on the menu. According to Grant Singleton from the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, the high protein rodents are regularly served in places like Ghana, China, Vietnam, Thailand, China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and parts of the Philippines and Indonesia. Should the trend hit the US, it may prove efficient in places like New York City where residents struggle to control rodent populations and many go hungry.