The taste of cat, donkey, dog, and rat meat

An interesting item about the flavor of pet, vermin, and work animal meat, courtesy of Futility Closet.


During the German siege of Paris in 1870, residents had to eat whatever animals were at hand. Daily News correspondent Henry Labouchère recorded his opinions:

• Horse: "eaten in the place of beef … a little sweeter … but in other respects much like it"

• Cat: "something between rabbit and squirrel, with a flavor all its own"

• Donkey: "delicious — in color like mutton, firm and savory"

• Kittens: "either smothered in onions or in a ragout they are excellent"

• Rat: "excellent — something between frog and rabbit"

• Spaniel: "something like lamb, but I felt like a cannibal"

"This siege will destroy many illusions," he wrote, "and amongst them the prejudice which has prevented many animals being used as food. I can most solemnly assert that I never wish to taste a better dinner than a joint of a donkey or a ragout of cat — experto crede."

An Open Mind