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Gibnut or paca: The royal rodent ... tastes like ham when smoked


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Gibnut or paca: The royal rodent ... tastes like ham when smoked

rworange | | Jul 17, 2010 09:05 AM

A seach for Belize food turned up this site with a photo you won't see elsewhere ... a smoked skinned gibnut.

Scroll down to the first picture of the animal with a chipmunk-like coat. However pacas are the world's second largest rodent, weighing between 12 and 25 lbs ... and more.

The gibnut was served to Queen Elizabeth II in 1985 when she visited Belize ... thus the title. I bet you thought being the Queen of England was an easy gig.

The blogger asked the local butcher for gibnut and writes "we were told that while they didn’t have a fresh one yet, they’d found some in the freezer and had smoked them, so Dennis and Escandar, the owner, gave us a half a smoked gibnut. Escandar told me to cook it just like a ham. I didn’t really believe him – how could a rodent be like a pig? – but he’s right, smoked gibnut is just like a ham, from the taste and texture of the meat right down to the skin and the fat under the skin, which is delicious if you live by the “pork fat rules” saying, and probably somewhat nauseating if you don’t like fat."

Hmmm ... the thought of eating giant rodent isn't nauseating?

There's more details ... they added some to lentil stew one night.

This photo from a mission site about cooking a gibnut gives perspective on how large these things are ... warning ... not for the easily squeemish

As far as fresh gibnut, the most often reference is that it tastes like rabbit ... some say sweeter ... some say gamier. It can be greasy according to some if not cooked correctly.

Other than that, the descriptions are all over the place ... chicken, of course, pork, deer, beef

More gibnut trivia and tasting notes in the next link

Fess up. Who has gobbled gibnut? What did it taste like?

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