For many people, rats are unwanted guests in the house. But in China, they can be a delicacy on the dining table.
Chinese bamboo rats, a possible coronavirus carrier, have been a sought-after food source in the country for centuries and hailed for their ‘nutritional value’.
Tens of thousands of farmers raised them, chefs cooked them in dozens of ways and web users celebrated ‘100 reasons to eat them’ – until pandemic stoped them.
Chinese bamboo rats, or ‘zhu shu’ in Mandarin, are known for their portly figure and fat cheeks. A wild rodent species feeding on bamboo, these huge rats can weigh up to five kilograms (11 pounds) and grow to 45 centimetres (17 inches) long.
They are by no means a new dish in the country.