Bert Christensen's Weird & Different Recipes
Cat holding a computer mouse
Cooking Rats and Mice
Calvin W. Schwabe in his book Unmentionable Cuisine (Charlottesville, Virginia: University of Virginia Press, 1979, available from Amazon Books), says that North Americans should be using many forms of protein which are routinely consumed in other parts of the world. The following exerpts are from a section of the book giving recipes for cooking rats and mice.
"Brown rats and roof rats were eaten openly on a large scale in Paris when the city was under siege during the Franco-Prussian War. Observers likened their taste to both partridges and pork. And, according to the Larousse Gastronomique, rats are still eaten in some parts of France. In fact, this recipe appears in that famous tome.

Grilled Rats Bordeaux Style (Entrecote à la bordelaise) (See comment below)
Alcoholic rats inhabiting wine cellars are skinned and eviscerated, brushed with a thick sauce of olive oil and crushed shallots, and grilled over a fire of broken wine barrels.

What won't the French do next?

In West Africa, however, rats are a major item of diet. the giant rat (Cricetomys), the cane rat (Thryonomys), the common house mouse, and other species of rats and mice are all eaten. According to a United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization report, they now comprise of over 50 percent of the locally produced meat eaten in some parts of Ghana. Between December 1968 and June 1970, 258,206 pounds of cane-rat meat alone were sold in one market in Accra! This is a local recipe that shows the South American influence on West African cuisine.

Stewed Cane Rat
Skin and eviscerate the rat and split it lengthwise. Fry until brown in a mixture of butter and peanut oil. Cover with water, add tomatoes or tomato purée, hot red peppers, and salt. Simmer the rat until tender and serve with rice.

Stuffed Dormice / Ancient Rome
Prepare a stuffing of dormouse meat or pork, pepper, pine nuts, broth, asafoetida, and some garum (substitute anchovy paste.) Stuff the mice and sew them up. Bake them in an oven on a tile.

Roasted Field Mice (Raton de campo asado) / Mexico
Skin and eviscerate field mice. Skewer them and roast over an open fire or coals. These are probably great as hors d'oeuvres with margaritas or "salty dogs."

Farley Mowat also gives this innovative arctic explorer's recipe for souris à la crème.

Mice in Cream (Souris à la crème)
Skin, gut and wash some fat mice without removing their heads. Cover them in a pot with ethyl alcohol and marinate 2 hours. Cut a piece of salt pork or sowbelly into small dice and cook it slowly to extract the fat. Drain the mice, dredge them thoroughly in a mixture of flour, pepper, and salt, and fry slowly in the rendered fat for about 5 minutes. Add a cup of alcohol and 6 to 8 cloves, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Prepare a cream sauce, transfer the sautéed mice to it, and warm them in it for about 10 minutes before serving.

Sounds like a gourmet's survival meal to me.

Collected by Bert Christensen
Toronto, Ontario


Sarrois Pierre-Guillaume,
Dear Bert Christensen,
Interesting website
Nonetheless,after few searchs, I am compelled to respond to information u gave in ur website.
I didn't find any restaurant in Bordeaux or in the Parisian suburb who serve food such as rats.
Very curious about the taste, and the origin of ur information, I was wondering if this sentence was a kind of French baching or if u seriously believe all the things u write. I sincerely doubt u will currently find any place in France with rats in the menu.
If by any chance I am wrong, I would appreciate that u share the information with me.
Best regards