Via Autumn People, the humorously named legal blog Lowering the Bar tells the story of a Louisiana woman suing a local Wall-Mart after running over her own foot with a shopping cart when surprised by a Nutria, otherwise known as a mouse-beaver, roaming the isles. If you’ve never seen or heard of a Nutria they are basically rodents native to South America approximately the size of a Cocker Spaniel that have over-run the state since their introduction to the environment in the 1930’s.
Whether the woman is due re-numeration for her tragic circumstances is for others to decide. What struck me about the story is the tendancy of Louisianans to eat almost anything that doesn’t fall under the category of upholstered furniture or auto parts. From sucking the gristle off of chicken feet to the consumption of the congealed brew of jellied meat by-products (words that should never appear in conjunction with the one another) known as headcheese, it is but a small step apparently to consider enormous swamp dwelling rats as food.
An excerpt from the story:
“Louisiana has a major nutria control program underway, and you can do your part by eatingas many as possible. The program’s webpage at least implies that this is in fact part of the plan, by providing recipes for several dishes featuring the allegedly tasty flesh of the nutria. Recipes are offered for nutria chili, nutria jambalaya, smoked nutria and sausage gumbo, stuffed nutria hindquarters, and something called “Enola’s Smothered Nutria,” which requires one three-pound mouse beaver smothered in Enola’s Secret Seasoning. The recipe reminds you that when stirring the nutria stew, “scrape the bottom of [the] pot to remove all the goodness.” Mmm-mm.”
When encouraging the consumption of certain animal or vegetable products that are let’s say, less than normally acceptible to mainstream gastronomic tastes, it has been my experience that the term “scraping the bottom of the pot” should be avoided if at all possible.