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Oct 22, 2008 06:33 PM

Squirrel..... would you...

eat one???

Was watching the F Word last night (with my soon to be husband Gordon), and the last part of the show was about squirrels,and eating them. People on the street were tasting cooked squirrel, and those who had the cojones to do it (seems those Brits will eat pretty much anything) said it tasted like chicken or quail...

Vote me out of the squirrel eating contest. No can do.

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    1. why not? I'm sure it tastes like rabbit. I remember my father (who grew up in western md) talked about how he remembered eating squirrel pot pie (pennsylvania dutch version) as a little kid and how great it tasted. Sounds good to me

      Anything that feeds on acorns is bound to taste good - see jamon iberico

      1. In a heartbeat! Those @#$% critters dig up my yard, eat my rosebuds, and taunt our cat.

        Only problem is, I don't like chicken (too blah) and found that alligator, frog, rabbit (fresh, homegrown), snake - all taste like chicken to me.

        When a friend of mine told me that chicken doesn't taste like chicken anymore, and I had to agree: my husband and I had a plain roast chicken once in Santa Rosa that had so much flavor that we fought over every last morsel. It must have been one of those fresh local chickens from one of the SR/Petaluma chicken farms.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Claudette

          alligator taste like chicken? I found it a deliciously sweet meat, and I loved it! Super juicy and tender, I wish i found it more often... Ct is not quite the alligator hot spot

        2. I did! Years ago a friend invited me for dinner and of all things he cooked a squirrel paprikas. I understood the paprikas part as he is Hungarian, the squirrel was a surprise (out of his own backyard) . It wasn't a standout. I remember not enjoying sucking the meat off the tiny little bones and I thought the flavor of the meat was very mild.

          1. If you lived in the USA anywhere outside of the handful of major cities 50 or more years ago, you ate squirrel and loved it. And possum, and rabbit, and bear, and beaver, and woodchuck, and muskrat, and raccoon, and dove, and swamp rat and armadillo and all manner of other creatures, depending upon where you lived specifically.

            You ought to get yourself an older copy of "The Joy of Cooking" and read up on how we ate not so long ago.

            17 Replies
            1. re: uptown jimmy

              Uptown, I have an old copy of the Joy of Cooking. The game section is huge and goes into great detail. They never should have edited or removed that part.

              I live in southern Arizona. Every once in a while I see a squirrel in the back yard, and think- "Oh how cute!" There is a small population at work, and most of us hope the hawks or the bobcat don't kill them. However, if they reached a huge volume and got to yhr point of being a pain in the butt, like I know they can be, I'd have no problem eating a squirrel or two. But I wouldn't kill, skin or gut one.

              1. re: EWSflash

                You mean you'd just eat em alive?????

                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                  Ha Ha Sam! Served on a platter, pre cooked is the way to eat them! Just my opinion.

                  Here in Houston our backyard is full of squirrels and doves, 2 fine eating foods, but my cat is the killer and keeps dropping them on the back porch. Beyond disposing of them, I wouldn't have a clue what to do to get them ready for cooking. I guess I need Alan Barnes daughter to come give me a hand!

                  1. re: danhole

                    We used to shoot squirrels at my Uncle's place not too far from Houston. My Grandmother would chicken fry them, whole, head cut off and gutted, look out for shotgun pellets. We picked off doves from the Loew's drive-in I worked at in high school, cruising the lot in daylight, pellet gun the weapon of choice. All doves were consumed, usually wrapped in bacon and baked. I hope the statute of limitation ran out on this one, it was the 70's, and Dani can attest, Houston is overun with dove, I don't think I put a dent in the population. Oh yeah, my cat once brought home my neighbor's rabbit, two neat holes in the neck, vampire style. My father discreetly disposed of the bunny, lest WW III break out. Years later, looking back, maybe we should have consumed it too.

                  2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    Yep., Sam, right down theol' pie hole! Damn squirrels, anyway.

                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      Reminds me of the old joke about how you eat armadillo - "One eye on the dillo and one eye on the highway."

                    2. re: EWSflash

                      The Joy of Cooking edition from the mid-90's (I think?) doesn't have the game section, but it was also lacking in many other ways. So much so that they re-released the 1975 edition, complete with game section. My mom gave me a copy a few years when I threatened to take the (now very well worn) one she got as a wedding present oh so long ago.

                      1. re: mpjmph

                        My old copy is so fragile, I'm really glad you posted this, I'm going to get a newone. Thanks very much, mpjmph. My old copy is probably from the '50s.

                        1. re: EWSflash

                          You might have to do some searching, they have released an anniversary edition since the re-release of the 1975 edition. I haven't read through the anniversary one, so can't vouch for it. Just make sure it's very clear which one you're getting. The 1975 re-release will say so on the cover.

                          1. re: mpjmph

                            My parents got married in 1937 and I believe Mother's copy is from about that time. I've always loved that refrigeration wasn't common and it gave instructions on plucking chickens. I'll have to check out the game recipes. Hers is so fragile that I bought another one, not quite as old, to actually use. Thanks for the memories.

                            1. re: c oliver

                              JOC is very near and dear to my heart... My parents received a copy when they bought their first house in 1976. While I learned a lot about cooking from my mom and grandmother, most of my first cooking experiences on my own were recipes from that copy of JOC. It's falling apart and food stained now, but that sea foam green book is probably my favorite book ever.

                    3. re: uptown jimmy

                      I remember telling a guide at Colonial Williamsburg that the most historically inaccurate thing about the place was that it was overrun with squirrels. In Colonial days they would have been nearly as many,and the ones that were around wouldn't have been brazenly burying acorns in the lawns.

                      If I ate the squirrels in my yard, my dog would die of boredom.

                      1. re: uptown jimmy

                        My father was a trapper and used his skills to supplement his income during the Depression. While I would agree that certain animals like the rabbit and dove were widely eaten by the masses, the market for muskrat, raccoon, and opossom were very limited to a very few poor folks. And if you wanted to sell opossom, you made sure that you left the heads on for sale as you might be accused of selling rat.

                        Squirrel and rabbit were generally the basis of a number of colonial era brunswick stew as one mid-atlantic food historian related to me years ago.

                        1. re: jlawrence01

                          One would wonder why Erma thought to include instructions on cooking animals that almost noone ate....

                          1. re: uptown jimmy

                            Because it was the ultimate American-based cookbook that was developed at a time when a lot of Americans ate the game they had available to them.

                            1. re: EWSflash

                              Yeah. That's what I was implying. But re-stating it for the irony-impaired is aiways nice.

                          2. re: jlawrence01

                            According to the authors of "Lobscouse and Spotted Dog" (the cookbook derived from Patrick O'Brien's British Navy novels), rat can be pretty tasty. But even I will only go so far...