Listen Now: Charcoal-Grilled Rat: It’s What’s For Lunch (In Cambodia)
Most people run when faced with a rat, others barbecue it with sauce and slap it on a stick.
In Western Cambodia, at most roadside stalls you find workers enjoying their lunch. In some cases that lunch includes a charcoal-grilled rat with a side of rice, all washed down with a cold beer.
While the rat might not be most people’s go-to snack in cambodia they are popular among workers because it’s quick and easy to make and it’s cheap. A small rat on a stick goes for about twenty-five cents while the larger variety will run you about a buck twenty-five.
Rats were a common treat in the 1970s, along with frogs, tarantulas and other small creatures as a way to survive. Now it’s just about convenience. One of the owners of the food stall that sells the rats says she sells about forty-four pounds of rats a day, more during the holiday season.
Customers argue over what they taste like. Some say chicken or beef, with most agreeing that it’s pork. I guess one man’s disgust is another man’s delicacy.
CBS News Radio national business journalist Brian Banmiller has spent more than 40 years in the news industry, covering business, politics and the economy on television, radio and in print. Currently, his “Banmiller on Business” reports are delivered to an audience of millions nationwide.
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