Nutria are 20-pound rodents that are gnawing away at the coast of Louisiana. They are eating so much vegetation, principally roots that hold fragile outlying coastal pieces of land together — kind of the way eggs bind a cake — that they are causing serious problems. Like, “See ya, Louisiana Coast!” type problems. The sad thing is that someone actually deliberately brought the big fat rat thingies into Louisiana from Argentina in 1930 because they had the brilliant idea they were going to make fur coats out of them. And now, there are way way way too many of these things to make fur coats. I mean, even if everyone in the world was Paris Hilton and wanted a fur coat, they’d have leftovers.
So, what do we do about nutria? Time to start eating! At least, that’s the most recent plan put forward by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries — reduce nutria populations by turning them into jambalaya and snack sticks. Some dudes who are making a film about nutria, entitled Rodents of Unusual Size, wondered what all this culinary innovation tasted like. You can watch the taste test here. Or just run.
Favorite quotes: “It tastes like an alien species,” “I think the flavors work out more in the jambalaya than the snack sticks,” “I like the jambalaya but the snack sticks and the sausages get you closer to what the nutria is all about.” Next stop, Iron Chef: Nutria Battle.