The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

17 October 2007

Beyond roadkill

And priced accordingly, I don't doubt:

Peking duck-style squirrel wraps are being offered to diners at The Famous Wild Boar Hotel.

The restaurant at Crook, near Windermere, in Cumbria, is giving diners the chance to try the canapes free of charge.

The grey squirrels were caught in the hotel's 72-acre woodland grounds and have been prepared by head chef Marc Sanders.

This is, you should know, an ecological measure:

"Our [red squirrels] are disappearing, and perhaps the more greys that are eaten, the better it is for the reds."

Disclosure: I've dined on squirrel exactly once. As I recall, it tasted absolutely nothing like chicken. Rabbit, maybe.

(Via Tim Blair.)

Posted at 3:33 PM to Worth a Fork

My dad grew up in Depression-era Arkansas and swears by squirrel. Me, I've never tried it, because my dad ALSO swears by mountain oysters, and we all know about those, right?

Posted by: Nate at 4:15 PM on 17 October 2007

I'd be more likely to swear at them.

Posted by: CGHill at 4:16 PM on 17 October 2007

Squirrel is good, and tastes just like...squirrel. Fried squirrel, squirrel dumplings, it's all good. Except the brains, they taste like a mild pate. And Mtn. oysters do taste like chicken.

Hey, you only live once.

Posted by: rita at 6:10 PM on 17 October 2007

Yes, and on my deathbed, I'd love to be able to utter the following sentence:

"I ate as few testicles as possible."

Posted by: Nate at 8:12 PM on 17 October 2007

Two thoughts on squirrels as food:

1. I attended a fairly tony prep school (Well, it fancied itself as fairly tony; I do remember the students doing what they could - within the restrictions of the dress code - to look like slobs). The groundskeeper once horrifed a couple people I knew by talking about his fondness for squirrel. "You make a batch of pancakes," he said, "And you put a little bit of the meat and a little of the gravy from cooking it between each one, and you pour gravy over the top of it all."

2. Squirrels ARE known to carry a form of chronic wasting disease - sort of a squirrel form of mad cow. I'm unsure if it's transmissible to humans, but I really don't want to go out of this live raving as my brain is eaten by a prion. (So I don't eat squirrel. Don't eat commercial hamburger, either, for that reason. Or deer or elk. Once they find mad poultry disease I'll probably become a vegetarian.)

3. One of my friends went to a "fry up" where different foods were being fried and then put in brown paper sacks for the grease to drain off. She grabbed what she ASSUMED was a chicken thigh, took a bite, and found out it was a squirrel head.

That probably would have been enough to make me a vegetarian right then and there.

Posted by: fillyjonk at 6:19 AM on 18 October 2007

I've had squirrel and it's OK (I bagged them myself using a .22 rifle with open sights rather than a smallbore shotgun with birdshot--I was a crack shot then). Howver, it isn't good enough, IMO, to be worth the effort of skinning 'em for the little bit of meat there. Then again, I've never been hungry enough for the the effort involved to be worth pursuing.

I've tried mountain oysters. They were also OK, but not something I'll go out of my way to revisit.

Rabbit is a bit greasy for my palate, but edible. Also not somthing I'll go out of my way to revisit. Domestic is better than wild--too gamey.

Venison is very good; but I'd prefer not to have to deal with the dressing and processing. I know enough hunters to have it on occasion.

Rattlesnake is very good and given the opportunity, I'd definitely have it again.

Posted by: unimpressed at 3:07 PM on 18 October 2007