Friday, October 29, 2010

Squirrel! It's Whats For Dinner!

After a many years of turning my nose up at the thought of eating Gray Squirrel, watching a recent episode of Bizarre Foods (Appalachia) on the travel channel had me quickly changing my mind. What you choose to eat or perhaps more appropriately, what you or others choose not to eat is often simply a matter of cultural or regional differences of opinion. One persons eating of lobster is to another the consumption of a VERY strange spider like, spiny, red sea creature that loudly SCREAMS don’t eat me! Some see feast and others see famine, it’s all based in your set of perceptions.

Obviously the first step in preparing a squirrel for the dinner table is the proper cleaning of the animal. After reducing the squirrel to “meat” there are several fine web sites available that detail different cooking methods.
If there is one suggestion I can make, about eating squirrel, it is to make sure that you parboil or otherwise work to tenderize the meat. Taking an old gray and throwing it on the grill with a little adobo sprinkled on the top (like I did) is sure to have you reaching for the dental floss. In other words, it can be a little bit stringy and tough. However, if you can spend some extra time preparing the meat, my overall opinion of the taste is it's fantastic. There was no “wild” or apparent off taste and it reminded me a little bit of grouse. Sporting brotherhood, if you have yet to add gray squirrel to your dinner table I strongly suggest that you give it a try!

9 comments:

  1. Grays are one of my favorites. Fox squirrels need to crockpot all day to get tender enough. If they were easier to clean (hair sticking to the skin), I think people would be eating more of them.

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  2. Downing Ducks Downeast10/29/10, 9:39 AM

    Most all of my hunting books written about or during the 20's/30's/40's and 50's all talk about squirrels (usually gray) as a food source. I was just flipping through a cookbook written in the 50s and it had a number of recipes for them...still haven't tried them though due to the "yuck" factor Rabid eluded to.

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  3. Casey,

    Dry the squirrel once skinned with a piece of paper towel. Then remove the hair with duct tape OR perhaps a lint roller?!?!

    HEY, that might actually work!

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  4. DDD,

    Deer tongue and brains are another one I hear was eaten a lot "back in the day". I plan to try tongue this year BUT brains may have to wait until another time. It just to cerebral for me. lol!

    I never mind trying new foods and would probably try just about anything (well except for spiders). My biggest factor in trying new foods is determining if they are ultimately safe to eat. Look at the current evidence on CWD, liver toxins, mercury, etc. Most of these collect in the organs and can make some internals a poor food source.

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  5. I have only eaten gray squirrel (as I was raised by wolves and drunken gypsies) and we roasted it over the fire with no preparation other than clean well and rinse with water. It wasn't all too terrible but a lot of energy was expended for very few bites.

    Rabbit is so much better and worth the effort. By the way…I greatly enjoy your posts and have actually learned quite a bit from your blog. Thank you.

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  6. Duck tape...that's an idea worth a try!

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  7. Nothing wrong with eating greys.

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  8. I Have an old 30's betty crocker cookbook i use, and it has recipes for squirrel in it. i guess ill give it a go. is there a diff. between eating a red and a gray?

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  9. ALPHA I, The only difference is in the color of the hair you need to pick out of your teeth. :)

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