Squirrel: It’s What’s For Dinner
Judy sent me this article from The Guardian about chefs who are making various dishes out of squirrel, specifically Grey Squirrel. There’s a lot of Grey Squirrel meat to be had in the UK because of an organized attempt to cull Europe’s invasive Grey Squirrel population, who are driving the native Red Squirrels to extinction. The Grey Squirrels migrated from North America to Europe, where they made themselves a little too comfortable.
And so there is squirrel ragu and squirrel pie, among other delights. I for one would be willing to try squirrel meat. Nothing against my vegetarian readers – but for those of us who are carnivorous, is eating squirrel any worse than eating sheep or pigs or cows? In fact, some in the article argue that squirrel is an ethically superior meat, as it requires absolutely no environmentally damaging inputs.
Not to mention that it wouldn’t be bad to reduce the supply of squirrels in the gardens. Their habit of excavating flowering pots and digging up Crocus bulbs can be exasperating.
Though for my money they are not nearly as destructive as rabbits. (Luckily we don’t have to contend with deer and moles, which can do even more damage.) In any case, the squirrels in our garden look remarkably plump (though the squirrels may think the same about me).
In order to help Americans get over any reluctance to make squirrel a part of their healthy diet, there should be a marketing campaign. Perhaps the celebrity spokesman could be Mike Huckabee, the professional gasbag and former presidential candidate, who likes talking about how he ate squirrel while growing up in Arkansas.
Come to think of it, a better idea (though this would need a different celebrity spokesman) would be to give squirrel meat another name. A French name: écureuil, which is French for squirrel. Instead of eating squirrel stew, we could savor écureuil bourguignon. Écureuil looks hard to pronounce, but in some places that could add to it’s appeal.
Anyhow, it’s just a thought. For more on the pros and cons of squirrel cuisine, read the whole article.