Celebrated British Chef Gamely Prepares Squirrel With Walnuts

As the U.K. continues to grapple with an overpopulation of non-native grey squirrels in the U.K., one celebrity chef has an idea: treat them like game, and throw ’em in the stew pot.

Marco Pierre White, host of the new program Marco’s Great British Feast, traveled to the posh Somerleyton Estate in England to feature “local produce” and game on his show. While grey squirrels are technically not local (being from the U.S. and all) they are quite convenient. So, it’s not surprise they ended up in some of his recipes. From the article Squirrel on the menu:

“The meal – squirrel with walnuts – was cooked in the kitchens at the estate’s award-winning Fritton House hotel where the fruit of the day’s shoot was also made into a squirrel and mushroom pie.”

Says White:

“I was surprised to discover that squirrel is considered a delicacy in certain parts of the UK and quite widely eaten. Having tried it I can see why.

“We tend to be squeamish about eating this small mammal but, when you think about it, it’s no different to eating rabbit.”

Squeamish Squirrel Lovers: Don’t Read This

As I’ve mentioned many times before, the U.K. is embroiled in a big squirrel controversy. The native red squirrels are being squeezed out by the grey squirrels, which were imported from the U.S.

There has been all sorts of suggested solutions to keep red squirrels from dying out, but this latest one is really taking it pretty far: A butcher is selling grey squirrel meat for about $6.82 a squirrel. Turns out people feel more ethical when eating grey squirrels, and it’s becoming quite popular.

“”I wasn’t sure at first and wondered how many people would really eat it. Now I take every squirrel I can get my hands on,” said David Ridley, who runs Ridley’s Fish and Game shop in Corbridge, Northumberland.  “I’ve had days when I’ve managed to get 60 of them and they sell straight away. Squirrel meat is moist and sweet because it’s diet has been berries and nuts.”

The meat, which is said to taste like a cross between lamb and duck, is also low in fat.

Read the full article, here: Big Demand for Squirrel Meat

Squirrel Bites Farmer, Who Skips Treatment and Dies

In terms of strange squirrel stories, this one takes the cake: A man in Ghana, Africa, is out hunting with his dog, for ground squirrels. His dog captures a squirrel, the man tries to grab the squirrel from the dog, and in turn, the squirrel bites the man.

Normally, I think, most people would get treatment for a bite wound from a wild animal. Or at least I would. Friends and family gave him money to go to the hospital but the man “refused and used the money to purchase drinks.

“They said a week later, when people saw that his health was deteriorating they rushed him to the Anfoega Catholic hospital where he was shortly pronounced dead.

“He has since been buried.”

A Squirrel Headline Only Seen in Kentucky?

When this arrived in my email inbox today, my first thought was “uh-uh, I don’t think sooooo.”

 Squirrel hunting season means fresh dinner ideas

…With Kentucky in the midst of its squirrel-hunting season, which runs through Feb. 29, those who enjoy the sport can also turn their game into a dinner or two.

After killing the animal, you can skin it like a rabbit and make dinner, Miles said, and then the cook should determine the animal’s age.

“A young squirrel can be cooked just like chicken. The meat is not too tough,” Miles said. “If you have an older squirrel, you need to braise it.”

Bowhunter, Mistaken for Squirrel, Is Shot

When I first read this headline, I did a double take. But it’s true:

“Neng Xiong was wandering around the Bayport Wildlife Management Area off Stagecoach Trail with his 20-gauge Beretta shotgun one afternoon last month when he saw some “small gray stuff” moving along the ground in the woods.

It looked like a squirrel, he told police. So he shot it.

But that “squirrel,” prosecutors say, was Woodbury bowhunter Jared Nestrud. He’d been on the ground, under some branches wearing camouflage.”

Thankfully, Nestrud is OK. Read more of the details at TwinCities.com.

Got Squirrel Tails Lying Around? Turn ‘Em Into Lures

Fluffy Tails

(Photo credit: Mama Victory)

Way up in Wisconsin, fisherman use lures that look like squirrel tails. Good god, you ask — what could they possibly be trying to catch with something the size of a squirrel?

This, a muskelunge, a giant fish that haunts Wisconsin lakes. It’s prone to launching out of the water to catch helpless squirrels hanging out on tree branches.

But, if you’ve found that your fake squirrel tail lures failed to catch any decent muskies, you can now buy your very own real squirrel tail lure! Or, if you find yourself with a lot of squirrel carcasses and no place to put the tails, you can sell them to the fishing company, too. (They also appear to turn them into smaller lures for catching smaller, more edible fish. Muskies are fun to catch, but not fun to eat.)

Please note that it’s (inexplicably?) illegal to sell squirrel in Texas and a few other states. Durn!

Thanks About.com Fishing!