By Supriya Batra
December 27, 2018

A village in northeast India has come up with a unique solution to make it through the long winter season, when the days become cold and the fields are dry: by catering to a local taste for rats.

Agence France-Presse reports that crowds come flocking to a Sunday market in Assam state’s Kumarikata village to pay top dollar for rat meat, typically simmered in a spicy sauce. The delicacy is reportedly more popular locally than chicken or pork.

Kumarikata is home to a tribe known as the “Adivasi,” many of whom are poor and work on tea plantations in the Indian state that borders Bhutan. As tea harvesting slows down in the wintertime and the pesky critters can be known to destroy fields, many farmers have taken to trapping them.

A kilogram of rat meat can bring in about US$2.8, about the same as other meats, while vendors say they can sometimes round up 10 to 20 kilos each night using bamboo traps set near holes in the ground.

According to AFP, the sale of rat meat is a valuable source of income for the remote tribe.

Write to Supriya Batra at Supriya.Batra@time.com.

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