Cats cooking

Death threats over cat-erole recipes

Cat meat chef

Bad taste ... a TV chef has been blasted  after telling viewers the benefits of eating cats. Source: The Daily Telegraph

An Australian children's author has come to the defence of an Italian TV chef who was suspended after telling viewers to cook a "caterole", The Northern Territory News reported.

Writer Kaye Kessing argued that Aussies should tuck in to help deal with Australia's troublesome feral cat population.

She spoke out after Beppe Bigazzi, the co-presenter of Italy's version of Ready Steady Cook, made global headlines with his advice on preparing "tender, white, cat meat" for a cat casserole.

During the nutrition section of the lunchtime show, he said he often ate cat meat and found it "tastier than other animals". He then quickly added: "I can assure you it's a delicacy, now I am going to get lots of letters."

Hundreds of outraged viewers phoned the show's makers to complain, while thousands more cat-lovers made their feelings known on websites.

Alice Springs author and sometimes-chef Kessing said the chef was a "brave man", but supported his decision to serve up cat.

"We should be eating our feral cats, I think, but not many agree," she said.

In 2007, Kessing entered her sauteed cat and quandong (an Australian fruit) recipe in the Alice Springs Desert Festival Wildfoods Recipe Challenge competition.

Kessing said she received death threats from around the world after the story of her "caterole" dish first broke.

"People threatened to have public burnings of my books and posters, it was quite surprising," she said.

Numerous Australian environmentalists believe that the feral cats have been an ecological disaster in the island nation, inhabiting most ecosystems and being implicated in the extinction of several species.

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