On the list of exotic things to eat, rabbit rates pretty low, I know. I can practically feel Anthony Bourdain laughing at me as I write. No matter. It was exotic enough to me, and worth talking about for some of the issues it raises.
Rabbit is not terribly hard to prepare, from what I understand, but I wasn’t about to experiment with it at home. For my first taste, I thought it best to trust the professionals, so I ordered it at a fancy restaurant, specifically the Artisan in Paso Robles. It was rabbit three ways – loin, shredded over pasta, and sausage. All three were meltingly delicious. It doesn’t taste like chicken, no matter what you have heard.
Also? It was intense. There’s this thing that happens with food when you are eating something really unfamiliar. You become present to the experience in a new way. I can honestly say that I never think about chickens at all when I’m eating one, but I could not get the rabbit off my mind. And it’s not so much that it bothers me to consider eating animals, just that it changes the experience of eating somewhat to do so simultaneously.
Before any of you vegetarians number all the great reasons to be vegetarian in the comments, consider this: to bring you good fresh organic vegetables, your farmer almost certainly has to kill a fair number of animals just to keep the crop from being eaten. For our CSA this includes gophers (which, I gather are legion), but also rabbits and other small critters. You could reasonably leave these dead animals out to feed the coyotes and never touch them yourself, but you can’t reasonably imagine that an all-vegetarian diet is bloodless.

I’m relatively certain that my rabbit was farmed, and not picked off in a field where it was threatening a tender lettuce crop. That said, rabbit is still an animal that we can use all of, like the pig or the cow. And I’d advocate for reintroducing it to the mainstream. It is delicious and abundant and well worth trying.


About christianathomas

I'm a working mother of two trying to make eating well fit into our hectic lives. I also used to own a completely chaotic bakery. Follow me for tips and tricks on how to get more whole foods into your diet.
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