The world of gastronomy in China is pretty fascinating and exotic at times.
In Sichuan, China, rabbit heads are on the menu of restaurants. They are served on tables where diners crack the rabbit’s delicate heads and slurp down the brains. Ugh, I’ve lost my appetite…
According to Straits Times, this spicy-peppery dish is a local favourite for late night snacking and can easily be found along the street of its capital, Chengdu.
At a famous restaurant named “Shuangliu Laoma Tutou”, diners with gloves on would pry open the rabbit’s skull and suck the brain out, in addition to nibbling on their cheeks. For Sichuanese, playing with their food is where the fun lies because of the “grapple factor”.
The recipe for the dish may seem simple but it requires well-established skills to pull it off.
“You have to drain the rabbits of their blood, then remove the guts’ before marinating the head in a broth for several hours,” he said.
Apparently this dish is unique to Sichuan and can rarely be found outside the region. As such, locals are proud of the dish and have been eating it for centuries.
“My parents and grandparents ate them. I’ve been enjoying them since my childhood”, said Wang Min, the manager of the restaurant.
“My friends in Guangxi (a southern province) and elsewhere don’t understand why we eat them,” she added.
According to DailyMail, people in Sichuan love this dish so much that two out of three rabbit heads consumed in China are eaten here in Sichuan.
As night falls in Chengdu, people would flock to the night market to buy rabbit heads. They usually wash the delicacies down with beer.
“If Sichuanese people don’t eat spicy dishes every day, they’re unhappy. For me, I eat them at least once a week,” said a lady with the surname Ma.
Rong Lipeng, who is China’s leading supplier of rabbit meat and products revealed that he sells more than 8 million rabbit heads each year but the demand in the market is just too massive. As a result, Rong had to import frozen rabbit heads from Italy and France to meet the demand.
He also hopes that the dish can expand beyond Sichuan in the future but it’s not gonna be easy because not everyone can accept the strong peppery taste of the dish.
Moreover, Westerners often avoid animal body parts such as duck beaks, chicken feet, heads, and tripe. He also admitted that rabbit head does look terrifying. We’d freak out too if our food stares back at us!
Guys, if you happen to be in Sichuan and feeling a little bit YOLO, you know what to eat. Because eating roti canai is just too mainstream.