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Squirrels Become New Delicacy in Britain

June 03, 2008 11:20 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
The Brits are gobbling up the gray variety of the species for patriotic and environmental reasons as they try to protect their native red squirrels.

30-Second Summary

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“This summer, there’s only one dish to serve at dinner parties: squirrel,” reports Britain’s The Telegraph.

Gray squirrel meat is in such high demand that game butchers are struggling to keep up. The meat of the ubiquitous, furry little creatures is being praised due to its low fat content and for being “green,” since it comes from local, “free-range” sources.

In addition, some patriotic Brits feel that eating gray squirrels helps to save their native reds, which have dwindled since their competitive gray cousins were introduced to the region in the 19th century.

Squirrel’s taste and texture is often compared to rabbit meat. David Simpson, manager of a British shop called Kingsley Village, described it as “a bit like a cross between rabbit and pork” in a BBC report.

The trend may be strongest in the United Kingdom, but it’s not confined there.

John Brock of South Carolina’s Charleston Post and Courier recently urged readers to “go green” by eating squirrel, noting that rural Americans already have a long history with the meat.

Even though public health officials have warned that squirrel brains, a Kentucky regional delicacy, can carry Mad Cow disease, some Southerners remain loyal to the little animals’ meat.

“Southerners have always eaten squirrels. It was part of our food pyramid, and we didn’t give it up until we could afford hamburger,” Brock writes.

Headline Links: ‘First, catch your squirrel’

Related Topics: Huckabee’s dorm snacks, Hunters plan 1,000 squirrel traps

Reference: ‘Pesky, friendly, tasty’

Video: Squirrel melts

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