About 250 people dined on rodent this weekend at the 75th Annual Muskrat Dinner in Lower Alloways Creek, N.J. The annual event, which is organized by the Lower Alloways Creek Township Fire Company, is a part of the town’s history.
“Muskrat identifies with our town,” LAC Fire Company Assistant Fire Chief Tim Burns told the South Jersey Times. “It’s a part of LAC history going back to 1938. It gets passed down from generation to generation. If you live around here, chances are you know how to trap a muskrat.”
The fire department served 1,100 muskrats at the dinner, according to the South Jersey Times article. Proceeds went toward equipment and maintenance for the LAC Fire Company. The dinner raised nearly $5,000 in 2012.
“We start in the first week of December,” Burns told the South Jersey Times. “You got to cut them up, soak them in a salt bath, rinse them, freeze them, thaw them out, rinse them again — and then you got to cook them. We were here until 2 a.m. last night.”
Caroline Pitts, of Washington, D.C., was attending the dinner for a second time.
“The first time I ate it, I loved it,” Pitts said of the muskrat. “It’s different. You can’t get this back home.”
Doug Van Sant, of Bridgeton, N.J., said some people call the muskrats “marsh rabbits” to help others get over the ‘rat part of the animal’s name.
“They are very clean,” Van Sant said. “It is some of the purest meat you can get.”
Have you eaten muskrat? If not, would you try it?