Just as China looked to the US and the UK to satisfy its chicken and pig foot fetishes, now it’s turning to France to sate its appetite for rabbit noggin – because apparently the French give the best “head” (zing). WSJ reports:
“Sichuan people really like eating rabbits,” said Lei Jiayou, marketing head for Hage Group, a Sichuan-based company that sells rabbit meat. Nearly all the rabbits bred for their meat in China are sent to Sichuan for consumption, he said, including many from the provinces of Shandong, Henan and Shanxi. “But they are still not enough,” he said.
Why rabbits from France? “French rabbits are highly recognized as having the best quality in the world. Their farms raise rabbits very scientifically,” he said. “They have formal standard to breed rabbits so the disease rate of the rabbits is comparatively lower,” adding that they are slightly meatier as well. They’re not cheap: on average, said Mr. Lei, a stud rabbit costs 2,000 yuan ($320).
Fortunately, the rabbit heads are, costing around 7-12RMB each, a lot of noggin for your buck. And since the French don’t traditionally eat “hasenpfeffer head,” this exchange benefits both parties more than predicted.
And it will likely only become more and more lucrative for French rabbit meat producers, as eating rabbit, and other types animal heads, is a growing trend, with more and more noggins peering at you from menus everyday.
The most common rabbit head recipe calls for cases of frozen heads bought at a local market. The noggins are thawed and leached of any musk smells, before being simmered in fragrant chili soup until topple-off-the-bone tender. They’re then split down the middle, stir-fried in spices and whacked with chili paste and sesame seeds. Having tried them, we can safely say that we understand the craze. They’re freaking delicious. Don’t forget to tear out the eyes and suck the skull.
[Image via etsystatic.com]