Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"Raccoon meat is some of the healthiest meat you can eat"....

Uh, okay. I was reading Drudge today and came across this article on the popularity of raccoon meat:

Raccoon, which made the first edition of The Joy of Cooking
in 1931, is labor-intensive but well worth the time, aficionados say.....

Those who dine on raccoon meat sound the same refrain: It's good eatin'.

As long as you can get past the "ick" factor that it's a varmint, more often seen flattened on asphalt than featured on a restaurant menu. (One exception: French restaurant Le Fou Frog served raccoon about a dozen years ago, a waiter said.)

Eating varmints is even in vogue these days, at least in Britain. The New York Times reported last week that Brits are eating squirrels with wild abandon.

Here in Kansas City, you won't see many, if any, squirrel ads in the papers. But that's where Brownsberger was advertising his raccoons last week.

The meat isn’t USDA-inspected, and few state regulations apply, same as with deer and other game. No laws prevent trappers from selling raccoon carcasses.

In Tennessee, it is legal to eat road kill, so I guess eating raccoons doesn't sound so far-fetched. I am not sure if I could stomach it, but then, I have eaten escargot in France and other foods that sound just as unusual.

What is the weirdest food you've ever eaten? Was it good?


Blogger Thor's Dad said...

Snapping turtle - tastes like chicken and pig brains - think really greasy chicken eggs.

3:52 PM, January 14, 2009  
Blogger RAMZPAUL said...

Haggis - And, no, it was not good.

4:26 PM, January 14, 2009  
Blogger Derek said...

Fried whitefish livers in a restaurant in Bayfield, WI. Steven Collins (ST:TMP, 7th Heaven, etc) ate them there once, apparently. First bite was interesting. By the third....

As for raccoon, I helped skin one once, long ago. STANK to high heaven. I've still go the bullet that killed the little sucker (Cub Scout scrap book). But what I remember was the STANK.

4:30 PM, January 14, 2009  
Blogger Eric said...

I'll never forget, I was about 10 years old, and had been helping my uncle work cattle all weekend, which made me feel like a man.

Part of my job was to keep track of the bucket where they would toss the freshly castrated calf testicles. At the end of the day, I handed the bucket to one of the cowboys, and never thought about it again... until that night, during the obligatory cowboy feeding, when I was munching on what I thought were chicken nuggets, and my aunt said, "I can't believe you are eating those things."

"What things?"

"Calf fries."

"What are calf fries?"

"Calf fries are what were in that bucket you were holding this afternoon."

Never had 'em since then, but I gotta say, they weren't all that bad.

4:33 PM, January 14, 2009  
Blogger DADvocate said...

When taking relatively short trips of which I expect to return along the same route within an hour or so, I take my can of white spray paint. Going out, I stop and spray a circle around all the road kill I see. When I return I know any road kill I see without a circle around it is fresh. Yum!

4:37 PM, January 14, 2009  
Blogger Unknown said...

Early morning cruise and sometimes there's a deer. Usually half good. The rest is coyote food on the hill.

One of my favorite odd foods is oil fried grasshopper. Keep alive two full days.

Derek -- Must have nicked the glands.

5:13 PM, January 14, 2009  
Blogger Francis W. Porretto said...

1. "What's the weirdest food you've ever eaten?"

Jellyfish salad.

2. "Was it good?"


5:20 PM, January 14, 2009  
Blogger GawainsGhost said...

The weirdest food I've ever eaten was anything cooked by my sister. It was also the worst.

This is why I don't allow women to cook for me. They know too much about poisons.

6:22 PM, January 14, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real thing:

6:40 PM, January 14, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I can say is don't eat goat south of the border.

6:45 PM, January 14, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Squid gut. Salted squid gut to be precise.

Don't ask.

It tasted SO bad, I could taste it for 12 months after the squid gut incident.

It lasted 18 months for my wife.

Pass on the squid gut.


7:00 PM, January 14, 2009  
Blogger Vader said...

This is secondhand, I'm afraid. I haven't eaten anything weirder than calamari or kimchee.

I had a friend at the office a few years back who had a beautiful teenage daughter. And I mean jaw-dropping knockout beautiful.

Her school had an Ethnic Foods Event of some kind. She read that in some parts of Africa, white grubs, like those white grubs you dig up in your lawn or garden, are considered a delicacy. Eaten raw. Chugged, actually, because chewing them is too pointed a reminder that it's a grub you're eating.

So she got the shovel, dug around in her yard, collected a couple dozen white grubs, put them on a plate (still fresh) and brought them to the Ethnic Food Event with a little sign explaining the custom.

A football player comes up to her table. She cocks her head, bats her eyes a couple of times, and asks him if he's up to trying some authentic African ethnic food by chugging a grub or two.

I swear, testosterone melts the insulation out of the brain. He chugs a grub.

By the end of the Ethnic Food Event, she had gotten a half-dozen athletes plus the football coach to chug grubs.

True story.

I suspect they're nutritious, actually, but there's no girl that beautiful. Maybe it's just because I'm an old married man.

8:01 PM, January 14, 2009  
Blogger DEK46656 said...

Balut which is considered a delicacy in the Philippines.

Take a duck egg that has been fertilized and is growing a chick inside. A couple of days before it is ready to hatch, bury it in the hot sand on the beach and let is slow cook. What you end up with is the equivalent of a hardboiled egg on the outside with all of the veins and such running through it, and in toward the middle a slimy, squishy, “something” that taste as bad as it sounds. Understand that (as far as I know) this is a delicacy in the Philippines, and they love it.

8:22 PM, January 14, 2009  
Blogger Unknown said...

Not all that exotic - just rabbit.

Tasted pretty good.

10:22 PM, January 14, 2009  
Blogger Rick H. said...

Bone marrow.


10:49 PM, January 14, 2009  
Blogger Danny said...

Do y;all watch the show "Bizarre foods with Andrew Zimmern" on the Travel Channel? that guy travels all over the world, eating the most disgusting stuff. I cant even stand to watch his eat the stuff he does on TV :):)

12:27 AM, January 15, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure I would classify squirrels as varmints. But, they are good and tender when simmered in red wine for an hour. No fun to clean though.

12:48 AM, January 15, 2009  
Blogger Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Dog- not on purpose, but it was pretty tasty, so I'd eat it again.

cuttlefish pizza- delicious

Elk and moose roadkill- we lived in Alaska at the time, and somebody else gave us cuts of the meat.

cuttlefish jerky- Mmmmm.

I've never eaten Raccoon and never will. I've never liked them since the camping trip where they gathered around like a gang of chattering teen-aged thugs while I changed a baby's diaper, and then fought for the feces filled diaper when I tossed it in the trash.

2:05 AM, January 15, 2009  
Blogger Jody said...

A Kangaroo burger. It was pretty good.

6:47 AM, January 15, 2009  
Blogger Jephnol said...

Dogwood, squirrel are easy to skin!

Step on the legs and lift up the tail, cut underneath the tail (above the anus)and create a tab of skin that gets wider to the lower back.

Then you turn the squirrel over and step on his tail and the tab and pull the feet--his sirt will come up to his head and paws. A good pull and each paw and his head will undress in turn.

Then you turn him around and pull off his britches with the reciprocal tab.

Quarter him rather than gut him as the body doesn't have much meat. Remove the scent glands on the inside of each leg and make a meal!

9:15 AM, January 15, 2009  
Blogger Will said...

I guess my most unusual food would be alligator--which was fried. (Probably not really unusual, but it WAS pretty good. Tasted like chicken.)

10:38 AM, January 15, 2009  
Blogger bwebster said...

I spent two years doing missionary work in Central America (Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama), and for most of that I lived with local families (paying for room and board) and so ate what they ate. That include:

-- iguana; think tough, stringy chicken.

-- red-eared turtle; yes, just like those little pet turtles, but all grown up; very dark and gamy.

-- turtle eggs; translucent shells; don't "set" when cooked like chicken eggs do, so you bite a hole in the shell and squeeze the contents into your mouth. Interesting, but not high on my list.

-- armadillo; very nice, like a sweet, tender pork.

-- black beans with little holes, that turned out to have insect larvae inside of them.

I have a strong suspicion that I had some dog fillets in Nicaragua. The doña of the house where we lived was a notorious cost-cutter, and had served us some small, tough cuts of meat. At about the same time, some of my fellow missionaries had spotted butchered and hung dog carcasses at the meat booth at the open-air market (Mercado Oriental) in Managua, near where we lived. ..bruce..

11:34 AM, January 15, 2009  
Blogger dweeb said...

Had about 75% of what's been listed here, all good. Only one thing I've ever tried that I wouldn't have again - natto.

1:52 PM, January 15, 2009  
Blogger Unknown said...

Horse. Sweet and sort of leathery smelly. Supposedly healthier than beef. I make kefir regularly to the chagrin of my spouse who hates the smell.
A hunter friend used to have bang-up BBQs with whatever he had bagged; bear, bison,antelope, javelina,groundhog...all of which are pretty good with a little sauce on them. I figure what comes from the drive thru at McDonald's is more likely to kill me. Probably got more "unknown" icks, too.

3:10 PM, January 15, 2009  
Blogger Atomic Nerds said...

Calf fries: proof that anything is tasty when fried and dipped in ranch dressing. And yeah, I'd eat 'em again happily. They're at least as good as fried mushrooms.

Rattlesnake: Greasy and gamey, but the person cooking had no idea how to do it, just a really strict "eat what you kill" policy. I have heard that in the right hands, it can be pretty good.

Alligator: Mmmmmm, more please. Tastes acceptable (like chicken as one poster mentioned, i.e. like white meat that has been abused out of its flavor, such as nuggets) when treated badly, tastes wonderful when treated properly. Not like chicken, but like alligator, which is its own flavor.

Rabbit: It was OK, but quite tough. Next go round will be in the slow cooker.

Tripe: In a dish of menudo. It was OK. I wouldn't order it again, but I ate enough to satisfy me for the meal. I'd recommend menudo to people that enjoy contrasts between intense flavors- the tripe, the red chile, the raw onion. I don't so much. The tripe was fun to chew, though.

Tongue: Why don't more people cook tongue? You have to go through a LOT more work to get a normal beef roast that tender.

Raccoon? I'll have a go at anything at least once. In my experience, huntable meat that's not traditionally eaten has a lot more to do with how big a pain in the ass it is to prepare correctly than how disgusting it is to eat.

4:24 PM, January 15, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rabbit: It was OK, but quite tough. Next go round will be in the slow cooker.

Cook it with noodles ala chicken and noodles. Quite good.


Funny thing is, I know the technique, but it never seems to work well for me! Probably need to shoot more squirrels to get more practice.

6:36 PM, January 15, 2009  
Blogger Greg Hunt said...

I've had most of the things listed here, all of it good.

The two things I won't eat again are Sea Urchin (disgusting) and something I tried in the Himalayas: Yak butter tea. Turns out, you can eat butter a LONG time after it's gone rancid, and to help preserve it, the Sherpas churn it with tea into a drink that is the most revolting thing I've ever tried.

10:07 PM, January 15, 2009  
Blogger JohnAnnArbor said...

Ostrich. Good.

1:54 AM, January 16, 2009  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm from the country, so I've eaten a lot of what city folks would consider "strange" food, including most of what's been mentioned here (rabbit? tough? What was it, a jackrabbit?) Would not, no way, no how eat horse; that's solidly in the "civilized human beings do not eat this" category, along with dogs. You don't eat anything you name. I've never eaten coon (though I've eaten possum), but for some reason, I imagine it would taste like tree rat (squirrel), which I've had a number of times and don't much care for.

I like game. Just not rats.

10:59 AM, January 16, 2009  
Blogger Elisabeth said...

the Atlanta Journal Constitution had an article on Wednesday about Taft eating Possum. Don't think I could eat it though

10:41 PM, January 16, 2009  
Blogger K-Man said...

Rabbit: we used to raise meat rabbits. Butchered young, they are tender and rather much like chicken when fried. Some upmarket food stores sell frozen rabbit (Pel-Freez brand), but it's pretty pricey.

Alligator: the tail meat is delicious fried. An Australian-motif restaurant in Maryland (no, not Outback) had it on the appetizer menu.

Ostrich and emu: indistinguishable from good beef when cooked properly.

Venison (deer): ditto if the animal is field stripped and butchered properly. Not too many hunters know how to do this, so the meat gets that metallic "wild" taste. Tips: (1) as with goat, do not let the hair touch the meat; (2) get rid of the musk glands in the legs as soon as possible after bagging.

Squirrel: good in Brunswick stew and the like.

Squid, cuttlefish, and the like: yum.

Turtle: in soup it's pretty good.

All of the above I've tried. Raccoon and opossum are out of the question for me, since they're scavengers and offal eaters. Years ago a neighbor kid was skinning a raccoon he had killed, and yes, the carcass did stink, as Derek said above. A work colleague killed an opossum, made stew, and brought it to work. When he warmed the stew, it stunk too. In fact, I was gagging from the stench while in a glass booth on the other side of the glass from him!

These days I don't eat much pork either... The cooking odor from most of that gags me too.

9:52 AM, January 17, 2009  
Blogger Jungle Jim said...

Snipe. The breast meat is dark and similar to dove or woodcock.

8:01 PM, January 17, 2009  
Blogger Bob said...

Musstrippen, a sausage made from hog blood and cabbage.

It was interesting.

2:21 PM, January 18, 2009  
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