For food news in 2009, it's hard to beat this rat's tale: The Australian version of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here put an Italian chef and a British actor in the Outback, where they saw dinner scurrying by. They pounced on the rat, ate it -- and were promptly charged with cruelty to animals by Australian officials.
Since when does taking the life of a rodent, even one of Outback-size proportions, constitute cruelty? I, for one, would much rather munch on a giant rat than watch this show.
To prepare these contestants for the next time they need to eat rat, here are the top five ways to cook rodents, Food TV-style.
5) Emeril Lagasse. Bam! Enough said.
4) Alton Brown. Make a grill using nothing but the plants and rocks surrounding your area. Go MacGyver style. Then take out your calculator and protractor and wait...with any luck, you won't get eaten by dingos first.
3) Giada De Laurentis. Breasts. Oh wait, this was about cooking. Uh, I guess she could chop some garlic into a hot pan with some pancetta and breasts. Fudge. Let's stop right here, 'cause those two guys are going to starve while waiting for her to finish up. In fact, I just finished up; now I need a wetnap.
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2) Guy Fieri. Guy would drive up in his car and talk their ears off, then proceed to eat said ears. All the while proclaiming that this is the best drive-in for ears he's ever found. Those guys would never stand a chance; after Guy's drive-by, they're starving and deaf.
1) Paula Deen. I can see her now, chirping about how sweet cream butter, ham and a bowlful of hot oil can transform this lonely creature into something that the South would be proud of. "Hi y'all, today y'all, we are gonna poach this rat in sweet cream butter y'all. And then use the drippings y'all and dip it in hot oil y'all till the skin is all crispy y'all." By now, those two tortured souls would either have died from artery-inducing heart attacks or committed suicide.
The two contestants will have their day in Australian court in February. And in they lose their case, the chef and the actor will know how to cook dinner in jail.
By the way, the chef won the show.