Ghanaians called them "grass cutters", but in Togo they were called by their scientific name, "agouti". Your first encounter with them was probably a glimpse from a taxi window, where on the roadside you saw an entrepreneurial Togolese holding a dead one aloft by its tail. What was that, you wondered with a shudder. While you tried to convince yourself that what you had just seen resembled a beaver, in fact you knew that it looked like nothing so much as an enormous dead rat.

"Yech!" you shuddered. "Do you suppose they actually eat those things here?"

Well, of course they did, and sooner or later you did too; probably in a bar somewhere, after one or two bebes, and you discovered that -- hey, it wasn't bad. Kind of tastes like -- no, not chicken.... maybe more like a cross between duck and pork.

I've eaten in several West African restaurants in the United States (if you haven't yet checked it out, be sure to visit my Fufu Lovers Guide to West African Restaurants Web Page), and they can all be relied upon to offer fufu, peanut stew, and a variety of other West African culinary delights. But I have yet to see one that serves the physically repulsive but nutritious (?) and delicious (??) rodent named agouti.

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