Cordial greetings to everyone here!
What can I say, I have a tooth for these juicy rodents. Unfortunately, though nutria carcasses can be occasionally found at local markets here in Russia, the cooking culture around them does not exist here. I used to BBQ them and with a certain marinade this kind of meat is just incredible, but I have no idea of how nutrias are meant to be cooked. English or Russian web does not help much since they seem to be almost unaware of such meats, so I hope someone may suggest a good recipe here.
Or it is considered to be just a pest or a source of fur?
The Coypu is a decently large rodent native to South America which was introduced to the other continents for their fur. They are often confused with beavers, though they're significantly smaller and have a round tail instead of a flat one. They can weigh up to 10 kilograms and be up to 60 centimeters long. They're also known as the Nutria and many other languages call them 'beaver rats'. In fact, they belong to the family of spiny rats, closely related to guinea pigs and chinchillas. Their diet consists of mainly the stems of aquatic weeds, grass and crops. They have little interest in the rest of the plants, which would in turn be consumed by other herbivores.
Coypus will breed year-round starting already at the age of four to six months. Commonly they have two or three litters consisting of three to twelve young every year. Those numbers are necessary as they're on the menu of alligators, birds of prey, snakes, humans and more. Even four years old would be considered old for them, though protected in captivity they often reach 15 to 20 years of age. Interestingly, their mammary glands are more to the side so the young can nurse with their nose above the water while swimming.
Coypu were introduced to North America, Asia and Europe during the heights of the fur trade. When the fur industry collapsed in the US in the 1940s, many of them were simply released into the wild. For a while, they were protected and promoted as weed controllers. Unfortunately and unpredictably, their numbers exploded in relatively short time from 150 released animals to an estimated 20 million by the mid-1950s in Louisiana alone, causing huge damage to wetland ecosystems. Instead they were again hunted for their fur and traded to Europe, where the fur market only collapsed in the 1980s. Since then they're promoted as a source of food to keep their numbers in check and the environmental damage they cause down.keep reading on reddit ➡