Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Royal Rat

I taste tested something new this week – The Royal Rat.   It was done in a hot peppery gravy and was tender enough that it could be cut with a fork.  The first bite, taken kind of absent-mindedly, reminded me of beef.  It wasn’t until I cut the next piece off, when I was looking at the texture, that I realized I had forgotten I ordered Gibnut and that I was not eating beef.  The meat looks like well-done organ meat, with a tight, fine-looking grain and I was surprised at how much it reminded me of the taste of beef.  Now here is something that doesn’t taste like chicken, lol.

I have seen pictures where they batter and deep fry the feet and I don’t think I could eat that.  I have also seen pictures where they serve the animal whole on your plate and I don’t think I could eat that either.  With the animal cut up into smaller pieces I can honestly say I enjoyed eating this new meat.  I may even buy some and work with it myself.  Maybe make a stew or something…

Now, I am sure you must be asking – What is Gibnut?  And why is it called The Royal Rat?

Gibnut, as it is known in Belize, is officially called Paca, and is considered to be a rodent.  They grow to between 13 – 26 lbs and live in burrows underground.  They are good swimmers, they like to live in forested areas, and they prefer to be close to rivers.  Gibnut likes to eat cassava, yam, sugar cane, corn and other foods which are staples for the local villagers.  They have 2 litters a year and in some areas their populations are growing.  The Mountain Paca apparently has declining numbers but the Lowland Paca is not suffering the same fate.  Due to this it is possible that the Gibnut could be raised commercially, although it is said that the farmed Gibnut doesn’t taste as good as the wild Gibnut.

The name Royal Rat was given to the Gibnut, not as a slur against the Queen, but because she was served Gibnut during one of her visits to Belize.

Lowland Paca



Posted by on September 7, 2012 in Cooking in Belize


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Enter Technology

It’s been two weeks since I wrote my last blog entry, since I last gave an update on my life here in Belize.  I can honestly say that my days have pretty much blended one into another and before you know it it’s been 2 weeks.

I did receive a nice package in the mail from darling hubby.  He put a package in the mail, priority through Canada Post and 3 days later I was able to pick it up at the local Punta Gorda post office.  Not bad service for a 3rd world country.  Or as I like to call it – 2nd world country since some of the communications infrastructure here are on par with those in parts of North America.  We can get high-speed internet service, although it is a bit expensive.  The cell phone network is pretty decent too – I can call the entire country on the local dime.  My cell phone also has a 10 gb data package – not too shabby for  a non-first world country.  Anyway, that is just a bit of an aside.

So now a week later and I got to enjoy some of the results of that visit to the post office.  I was sent a Blackberry PlayBook and as my darling hubby bought one for himself we are able to have video chats with each other, away from the computer.  Darling hubby packed up his PlayBook and set up 2 video calls with family members.  The first was with my step-daughter and her daughter JuJuBean.  The second was with my daughter and her daughter, Baby Doll.  It was wonderful.  This is one of the downsides to moving to a different country.  If I had my druthers, I’d ruther my family came with me.  Thank goodness for technology, though, as it makes the distance apart seem not quite so far.  Thanks dear!

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Posted by on September 1, 2012 in Technology


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