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Jan 14, 2009 04:07 AM

the joy of cooking....raccoon!

yes, the (really) other dark meat is having a renaissance, of sorts. the first edition of the cookbook "joy of cooking" had recipes for raccoon.

what happened to make this ring-tailed critter abandon the american table for the woods, and cute cartoons?

now, you don't have to worry so much. raccoon is back .......on the table, in the crockpot, on the grill!

will you be on the raccoon-wagon?

and ... is possum hiding for any good reason? there are plenty of other "dark meats", right?
(aka: will "possum" be the new "raccoon"?)

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    1. I've never had raccoon or possum but the stories I've heard from some old-timer folks is that if you shoot a raccoon and skin it you should leave the (black) feet on so you can tell the difference between it and a possum. Raccoon is more desirable and thus more expensive...

      8 Replies
      1. re: HaagenDazs

        I thought you left the feet on s that you could distinguish between raccoon and cat? I thought I had read that somewhere.

        1. re: KTinNYC

          people in the south don't eat cats. at least the AMERICAN "south".

          1. re: alkapal

            I know they don't eat cats but could an unscrupulous raccoon seller try and pass off cat as raccoon? I was responding to HaagenDazs' post where s/he said that old timers leave the feet on so you can tell the difference between raccoon and possum.

            ETA: I knew I read this somewhere. From an article in the Chicago Tribune; "John Wilson stepped into the massive refrigerator at his home in northwestIllinois and removed a long plastic bag. Although clouded with ice, there wasno hiding its gray and pink contents – the paws, the limbs, the head.
            “This is one of the jumbos,” Wilson said, holding the bag up forinspection. “We leave the paws on so people know they’re getting a raccoon,not somebody’s house cat.”


            1. re: KTinNYC

              kt, well, to (somewhat) quote bubba gump, "unscrupulous is as unscrupulous does." this applies to raccoon sellers, wall street tycoons, used car salesmen, (some) lawyers and (most all) politicians.

              but, as to confusion of cat 'n coon: they do have similar looking skeletons superficially (though the leg structure is different) -- and the size is similar, too -- for larger domestic kitties!!


              ahhh, the things i do on chowhound....;-).

              1. re: alkapal

                We all have to sacrifice for chowhound. I now have a search in my computer for "selling raccoon meat leaving feet". God only knows what this will tag me as by big brother.

          2. re: KTinNYC

            KTinNYC: You keep the tail on the rabbit to distinguish it from a cat. Their skeletal structures are incredibly close.

          3. re: HaagenDazs

            a racoon carcass and pelt look nothing like a possum. The feet are not left on to tell diffence between the two.

          4. Is this part II of the post on eating scavengers?

            One relative had possum once, and said it was one of the worst meals he had ever had. If it were on a menu, I'd probably try it, but I don't think I'm going to go out of my way to cook it (or raccoon) at home. Raccoons scare me, and regularly fought with our cats at my parents' house (the cats survived, fortunately).

            1. Racoons are still available for sale on street corners in North Baton Rouge. A few years ago, I passed a man sitting on a lawn chair under a sign that said "Coons for sale. Skins. Meats" everyday on my way home from work. I finally stopped one day and he showed me his products. $10 was the average price for a coon. He recommended stewing it "much like armadillo", which I've also never cooked. Anyway, I was back in Baton Rouge about 3 months ago, and he was still there! (BTW, yes, I know it's illegal, but those of you who know North Baton Rouge know the law enforcement is not focused on this sort of violation).

              2 Replies
                1. re: RosemaryHoney

                  I shot an armadillo that was digging up the yard when I was younger. I was working for a woman who wanted it dead. Her dog later got to it and tore it apart. I gotta say, the meat was whitish and reminded me of pork. The thought of cooking one crossed my mind, but they are uglier than a mud fence after a hard rain.

                  I have heard of older hispanic people here in Florida eating them. They go hunting for them frequently.

                  If I want swamp vittles, I'll stick to gigging frogs, my own self.

                2. If you've ever smelled possum cooking, you won't eat it. I triple-dog dare you.