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Cooking Swamp Rat

December 27, 2012 by  

Cooking Swamp Rat, Actually, according to The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, nutria is a red meat, but it supposedly tastes like rabbit or dark meat turkey. More than a little confusing, I know. What is clear is that Louisiana has a surplus of these 20 pound South American swamp rodents, which the LDWF kindly dubs “fur bearing herbivores.” As some of you may know, Louisiana has, for several years, had a campaign going to try to cut down on the population (the nutria population, that is) by convincing people to eat to eat these critters, which were originally brought in for their fur, but then escaped and wreaked havoc on the local greenery.

Also known as coypu, the nutria is apparently also a host for a type of nematode that can infect human skin and cause ‘nutria itch,’ according to Wikipedia. Nevertheless, the LDWF has plenty of recipes for the little guys, the names of which are too good not to mention: there’s Heart Healthy ‘Crock-Pot’ Nutria, nutria sausage, nutria chili, “Stuffed Nutria Hindquarters,” and “Enola’s Smothered Nutria.” The site also has over 20 photos of how to butcher a nutria, but we don’t need to get into that right now.

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