Rabbits: Pets or Dinner?

By Kristin Donnelly Posted March 03, 2010

Kim Severson’s already controversial New York Times article about raising rabbits for food has me feeling a little nostalgic. My cousins grew up with a hunting and foraging Eagle Scout father who bred rabbits in his Philadelphia backyard. Even though my cousins loved the baby bunnies, they were never stunned when Sunshine or Snuggles disappeared from the cage and rabbit stew appeared on the dinner table. My sister Katie and I, however, thought it was barbaric. We were happy with our more "civilized" chicken-breast tacos, thank you very much. One year, Katie rescued the runt of my uncle's litter Charlotte’s Web–style, and Rosie the rabbit became a fixture in our house. But when I went to Paris for my junior year in college, I became a more adventurous eater and tried everything put in front of me—including rabbit. Now that I know all I do about food, I think my uncle had it right all along. My sister still asks me, “How can you eat Rosie?” It’s a complex question: I’d never eat a dog or a cat...unless I felt absolutely desperate, I guess. So for now my answer is, if it was good enough for Julia Child, it’s good enough for me. Sorry, Katie!

To see for yourself that rabbit tastes just like chicken, but the best chicken you've ever had, try one of these fantastic recipes:

- Rabbit Stew with Olives and Rosemary

- Rabbit Ragout with Soppressata and Pappardelle

- Braised Rabbit with Mustard and Summer Savory

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