Upon opening the box and preparing the food for microwaving in the WoW Insider HQ break room, the first thing I noticed is that they really didn't skimp on quality or preparation. These are large chunks of meat and veggies on these things, just the way Dad used to grill them. Once I took them out of the microwave, I was pretty hooked. I barely paused to consider the source of the meat before the scent of roasted meat and vegetables compelled me to dig in.
Rat is... well, I could go with the oldest copout in the book and say it tastes like chicken, but that isn't quite fair. If it makes sense, it's like a flavor somewhat between beef and chicken. It has the consistency of a solid mid-range cut of tender beef, but the flavor is strong chicken with undertones of venison and liver. Overall, it was quite an assault on my preconceived notions and tastebuds. The vegetables also passed the taste test with flying colors. I could tell they'd been genuinely grilled, with just the right amount of smoky flavor.
Before you ask what New York rat meat means, I actually asked Ghostcrawler. He assured me that by New York, we're talking upstate. There's a farm up near Syracuse that apparently raises certified cruelty-free rats for pets and livestock. So sorry, your kabobs do not come from a crazy old gnome playing a flute in the NYC subway system.
I have to say, I applaud Blizzard for taking such bold steps in flavor for this new line. Sure, they could have just rebranded beef as "rat meat," but they chose to go the extra mile and broaden our culinary horizons, much like they broadened so many peoples' gaming horizons by releasing WoW in the first place, drawing many newcomers into the genre. I think word of mouth may do the same for this cuisine. If you're a meat lover, take the plunge and try some rat. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.