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Deep Fried Mice Are a Popular Snack -- In China

In Life by Wendy Michaels , on Monday, March 26, 2012, 10:14 AM (PDT)
food
Fried mice a delicacy in China
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Fried Mice and Rats a New Chinese Delicacy?

Wondering what to eat for your next meal? How about fried mice?

No ... really. It's a thing.

Okay, to be more accurate, it's not like fried mice are coming to your local county fair just yet, rather it's a delicacy that's enjoying popularity in China's Guangdong province.

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First up ... ew. Can you even imagine noshing on a fried mouse?

Still, what may be exotic cuisine to us likely wouldn't have southern China locals batting an eyelash.

The Austrian Times does note that the mice are freshly caught (yum) and are a good source of protein, so there's that.

Butcher shop owner Wan Shen says his shop specializes in them, noting, "Some people worry that mice aren't clean, but these are all wild, free range mice caught in the countryside and are very healthy. They are thought of as a special treat."

In addition to the fried variety, mice can also be made into cured bacon, as well as prepared like most any type of meat.

A customer to the butcher shop, Mo Lin, commented, "I've been eating mice for 10 years with no ill effects. You can fry them, roast them or boil them. They're very sweet and tasty."

Don't knock it ‘til you've tried it, I suppose.

It's also interesting to note that, given their small size, getting the best cuts of the rodent requires special skill, making the cost of mouse meat more expensive than chicken or pork, pound for pound, according to Mother Nature Network.

Mother Nature Network points out that rats are also consumed in the Guandong province, with one restaurant featuring menu items such as Rat with Chestnut and Duck and Sautéed Rat Slices with Vermicelli. They also serve raccoon, snakes and silkworm dishes.

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It seems restaurant owner Zhang Guoxun was inspired by a rat that crossed his path: "I wanted to open a restaurant with an affordable exotic animal. Then I was walking home one night and a rat ran across in front of me and gave me this idea."

Ah, inspiration.

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