Rats! Rodent burger now the latest food craze in Moscow

Krasnodar Bistro's nutria burger, which costs 550 roubles (S$12).
Krasnodar Bistro's nutria burger, which costs 550 roubles (S$12). PHOTO: KRASNODAR BISTRO/INSTAGRAM

MOSCOW - Chomping down on a juicy, cooked rodent clasped between two pillowy soft buns is now officially the food fad in Russia's capital.

Yes, you read that right. Rodents are being served to diners at several Moscow restaurant, reported The Guardian.

Chef Takhir Kholikberdiev, who owns Krasnodar Bistro, is getting rave reviews for his take on a nutria burger.

Nutria, or river rat, has been described as a giant, orange-toothed rodent. They reportedly breed at an "alarmingly fast rate", making them easy to farm.


A nutria, also known as a coypu or river rat, has large orange teeth. PHOTO: PELEG VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS 

The herbivore, also known as a coypu, is found in southern Russia, where its fur is a cheap substitute for fox and mink fur coats.

Kholikberdiev says the nutria is a "really clean animal" that washes all its food before it eats them. It is also high on omega-3 acids.

At Krasnodar Bistro, the meat in its nutria burger - priced at 550 roubles (S$12) has been described by The Guardian as juicy but bland, and tastes like a cross between turkey and pork.



The facade of Krasnodar Bistro, located just a few hundred metres from the Kremlin.  PHOTO: KRASNODAR BISTRO/INSTAGRAM 

The secret lies in how easy the rodent can be cooked - Kholikberdiev claims the meat remains juicy no matter how long it has been cooked for.

Besides burgers, diners at the restaurant can also have nutria in a hot dog, dumplings and wrapped in cabbage leaves.