Roadside Food Vendors – Weekend Special

I enjoy the food from many roadside vendors, especially the noodles or sometimes som tam (green papaya salad) or fresh fruit. Occasionally I’ll have a dessert that must be some sort of congealed and fried coconut milk. Mussel omelettes, soups; there is always a conspicuous abundance of readily-available food here in Thailand.

Vicinal to my home there is a special weekend delicacy – grilled rat. From Monday to Friday, there are no vendors; on the weekend, though, I can find a grilled rat stand every few kilometers.

The question that may naturally come to mind is “has Micah eaten these rats or similar types of rat?” The answer to that is no. I have not eaten these rats or similar types of rat. I lean towards vegetarianism anyway. When it comes to rat I have so far been tendentiously vegetarian.

Now that the important question is out of the way, let me pose a few questions of my own:

  • Why do I have to wait for the weekend to find an abundance of rats at the roadside?
  • I would ask the rat connoisseur, does one’s appetite for rat just magically disappear on Monday morning?
  • At the end of the day, what happens to the unsold & heretofore uneaten rats?
  • I have been told that rats prepared in this manner are best eaten with a spicy sauce. Is this true, or would a mild sauce accentuate, might I even say emphasize, or complement, the rat’s flavor?
  • What about cost? The vendor at this stand told me 160 baht, and I think that is per kg, which puts the grilled rat (admittedly it is prepared already) at a higher cost than either pork or chicken. Why the premium?

Obviously there is still a lot for me to learn about the grilled rat phenomenon specifically and Thai cuisine in general. Stay tuned.

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