Mexican Food Stall Has Been Selling Rat Broth for Over Half a Century

You can find a great many things in Mexico’s Mercado República de San Luis Potosí market, but perhaps the most exotic of all is an old food stall known for selling rat meat.

For many of us, rat meat ranks pretty highly on the list of things we wouldn’t be caught dead eating, but in the region of San Luis Potosí, it has long been valued for its exotic flavor and alleged medicinal properties. However, in recent years, stalls selling rat meat and dishes containing it have all but disappeared from local markets. All except one in Mercado República de San Luis Potosí, which still sells both raw rats and rodent broth cooked with an assortment of vegetables and spices. Each bowl of rat broth contains a whole field rat and sells for 100 pesos ($5.80).

The last rat meat vendor in Mercado República is José Remedios Hernández, also known as “Camilo”, who inherited the exotic business from his mother, who recently passed away. He recalls that there were once dozens of rat meat sellers in the market, but they all retired or died, and now he remains the only one. But he doesn’t plan on giving up on the family business anytime soon. After all, the stall has been operating for 52 years, and he plans to keep it alive for as long as possible.

All the rats in Camilo’s broths are caught in the countryside surrounding communities and municipalities around San Luis Potosí and allegedly have a very high nutritional value. Rat meat is especially useful for people with anemia, diabetes, or cancer, helping to strengthen the body and increase appetite.

If you’re ever in Mercado República de San Luis Potosí and get a craving for rat meat, you should know that Camilo sells both rat broth for 100 pesos, and raw rats (90 pesos) for people who want to cook the rodents at home. He recommends cooking them with vegetables and spices to really complement the meat’s flavor.

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