A rabbit in its hutchRabbit is a seriously misunderstood ingredient.  I certainly didn’t grow up eating it.  In fact, my first taste of rabbit was while travelling in southern Greece.  (Other notable inaugural tastings on that trip: fresh figs, rooster, and octopus.)

Even before I went, I knew that I was going to eat rabbit in Greece. It was on my to-do list. At the time, I put rabbit in the same category as brains and shark meat. Even though I see more rabbits in a given day than cows, from a culinary perspective, rabbit was very exotic.

Finally, at a beachside taverna on Syros, I ate my first rabbit dish. I was served one hind leg with tomato sauce and potatoes. Frankly, I was underwhelmed.  Before leaving for Greece, people were so shocked when I mentioned that I planned to eat rabbit, I expected the meat would have some kind of jarring, gamy taste to match. The truth is, it has more bite than chicken, but maybe not as much as lean pork, and a very mild flavour. Don’t misunderstand me: it’s good meat. I was just… surprised.

Buying Rabbit in Edmonton

At a few times of the year, and certainly during the weeks approaching Easter, the Trowlesworthy Farms booth at the Strathcona farmers’ market displays a small sign advertising rabbit for sale. It has a cartoon bunny on it that might have been ripped from a child’s colouring book. It seems that our pastoral, childhood associations with rabbits are inevitable, even when dealing with an eviscerated rabbit carcass. (For more on this topic, read this Rob Mifsud blogpost, the truly shocking reader comments that follow, and Anthony Bourdain’s response, called The Lessons of Bunnies.)  The Italian Centre usually has rabbits, and certain butcher shops, like Easyford, will order in rabbits at your request.

How to Cut a Whole Rabbit

How to Eat a Rabbit

The personal website of Edmonton chef Allan Suddaby