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Updated on April 20, 2012


The nutria, Myocastor coypus, is a large semi-aquatic rodent. The generic name is derived from two Greek words (mys, for mouse, and kastor, for beaver) that translate as mouse beaver.This herbivore may weight up to 20 lbs and reach about 24 inches from tip of nose to tip of tail. Although it looks similar to a musk rat the nutria is easily identified by its brown fur and orange teeth.

Where do you come from little buddy?

The Nutria is native to South America and was brought to the United states by fur ranchers. Typically they are found in Louisiana, Florida, Texas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Delaware, and Virginia. But it is most notibly recognized as being located in Louisiana.

Nutria are pest...but at least they taste great.

Nutria are not native to North America. With that said they are a pest. They cause extensive damage to wetlands. And like most rodents they reproduce rapidly.Nutria will eat entire plants and will exploit wetlands in fresh, brackish and salt water. The population can be controlled through hunting. The meat is lean and great tasting. also nutria is a great source of protein.

Have you ever heard of nutria?

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Nutria Chili

12 oz tomato paste

• 16 oz tomato sauce

• 3 24oz cans red kidney beans (drained) • 6 Tablespoons garlic powder • 3 Tablespoons onion powder • 2 Tablespoons ground cumin • 2 Tablespoons parsley • 2 Teaspoons oregano • 1/2 Teaspoon salt • 1/2 Teaspoon ground black pepper • 1 Tablespoon chipotle powder • 1 Teaspoon habenero chile powder • 1 medium onion, chopped • 4 whole red habeneros (deveined, deseeded and chopped) • 6 jalepenos (deveined, deseeded and chopped) • 2 New Mexican chiles (deveined, deseeded and chopped)

• 2 diced medium tomatoes

• 1/4 cup masa

• 2.5 pound ground Nutria• 6 oz beer (1/2 can)

  1. Saute the onion in a small amount of oil
  2. Brown Nutria
  3. Add tomato paste, tomato sauce, kidney beans, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper, chipotle powder, habenero powder, habeneros, jalapenos, New Mexican chiles and bring to a simmer.
  4. Simmer for 45mins and serve


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    • luvintkandtj profile image

      luvintkandtj 5 years ago from USA

      Did you finish the meal? :-)

    • profile image

      Tony Hastings 5 years ago

      Some years ago in a famous restaurant in Helsinki, I smelled a wonderful aroma when a neighbouring table opened a pastry covered crockpot. I asked for the same which I was told was Nutria cooked with wild mushrooms but nobody could translate what a Nutria was. Halfway through eating this delicious stew, somebody called a friend who advised that I was eating water rat.

    • profile image

      carolinacoot 6 years ago

      They are actuall good eating. I was born in Alabama and raised on the bay. We would hunt them and then have cook outs. To get rid of the gamey tast you put a 1/4 teaspoon of vinegar in a bowl of water and stir the meat around in it. Then you fry it just like you would chicken. Smother in brown gravy and serve over rice.

    • Canklefish profile image

      Bizz 7 years ago from East Coast

      Great Hub. The fact that somebody has taken the time to publish a Nutria Hub speaks volumes to the popularity of this site.

      I was gonna research putting a Hub together on this subject, but it seems you've covered it...

    • profile image

      Citrus000 8 years ago

      Hmmm. Well, I have these in my back yard, they eat up all the apples that fall from my apple trees and they break into my compost bins and eat scraps from my kitchen. I have found them to be pretty harmless for the most part, and I don't mind they are around. I have never tried eating one, but at least I know where to find one if I did decide to try it. Thanks for the info and the recipe.

    • luvintkandtj profile image

      luvintkandtj 9 years ago from USA

      Yea once. not bad alittle gamey to me

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Cute little critter but I wouldn't want one in my backyard. Ha! The recipe you offered would make cardboard taste good! Have you eaten nutria?