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Home » » TV chef suspended over cat recipe

TV chef suspended over cat recipe

A top Italian food writer has been suspended from the country's version of Ready Steady Cook for recommending stewed cat.

Beppe Bigazzi, 77, has been dropped indefinitely by broadcaster RAI after he offered the "succulent" recipe on La Prova del Cuoco.

Its switchboard was inundated with complaints from viewers and animal rights groups, reports The Times.

Bigazzi said that casserole of cat was a famous dish in his home region of Valdarno, Tuscany.

"I've eaten it myself and it's a lot better than many other animals," he told viewers. "Better than chicken, rabbit or pigeon."

He said that for optimum flavour the meat should be "soaked in spring water for three days" before being stewed.

Francesca Martini, Italy's deputy health minister, said it was "absolutely unheard of for a public service broadcaster to tell people how delicious cats are to eat".

She called for the producers to be investigated for criminal offences involving incitement to mistreat animals.

Mr Bigazzi later insisted he had only been joking about the recipe, and he had been misunderstood.

But he added: "Mind you, I wasn't joking all that much. In the 1930s and 1940s, when I was a boy, people certainly did eat cat in the countryside around Arezzo."

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