Scaredy cats in Peru can rest easy; the annual feline-eating festival is over -- until next year.
Every September, the town of La Quebrada holds a huge celebration to honor Santa Efigenia, a saint especially revered by Peruvians descended from African slaves, according to the Associated Press.
Part of the celebration includes La Festival Gastronomico del Gato, (The Gastronomic Festival of the Cat) a cat-eating feast commemorating the time when early settlers were forced to survive on cat meat, or so the story goes. Dozens of cats are bred specially for the feline feast, the BBC reports.
Featured dishes include spicy cat stew and grilled cat with native huacatay herbs, and the meat reportedly has a flavor similar to rabbit.
PETA drew its claws in protest of the event in 2008, according to the Mirror, but apparently to no effect.
Some locals say the meat can cure bronchitis and boost fertility.
Not only that, but Peruvian folk wisdom has it that consuming cat works as an aphrodisiac. Or maybe we're translating that too literally.
[Hat tip: Fark.com]
ALSO ON HUFFPOST:
The Huffington Post’s Weird News email delivers unbelievably strange, yet absolutely true news once a week straight to your inbox. Learn more