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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 February 2008, 12:33 GMT
Thai diners show appetite for rat
Rats being prepared for the pot
Rats have long been eaten in poorer regions of Thailand

Thai fast food sellers are enjoying a boom in rat sales, as people learn to love the taste of the rodent.

While rat has long been eaten in Thailand's poorer northern regions, a growing number of the country's roadside vendors are now serving it up.

The rats are drowned and sold uncooked or ready to eat, with happy customers purchasing rat meat for as much as 150 baht ($4.82; 2.30) a kilogram.

"It's better than chicken," one customer told the AP news agency.

'Nothing can compete'

"It all depends what you like, but it's a normal meat like any other," added Thongyu Roruchit.

They are definitely clean
Rat vendor Sala Prompim

One rat seller, Sala Prompim, said that the hip and liver were the best cuts.

"It's tastier than other meats - nothing can compete with rat," he added.

Mr Prompim said he only used rats caught from rice fields, and not those found in towns or cities.

"They are definitely clean," he said.

The animals are killed by drowning, before being skinned ready for cooking - poached, fried, grilled or baked.

Mr Prompim says he sells as much as 100kg of rat meat on some days.

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