People are becoming more concerned about sustainable things and are looking for alternatives to what we usually eat that will benefit the environment. Squirrel meat falls under the category of sustainable meat. Squirrels don’t eat as much as cows do, they feed on nuts and other readily available items leaving the environment largely unaffected.
Chefs are beginning to embrace sustainable meat sources like rabbit meat and squirrel meat. In the United States, the practice of hunting and eating squirrels is carried on by at least 1.8 million people.
What does squirrel meat taste like? The taste and flavor of squirrel meat are hard to place because it is distinctive. To some people, squirrel meat tastes like chicken, to some, it tastes like a lighter version of pork. The taste of squirrel meat can also be compared to veal, lamb, or rabbit meat. Squirrel meat is game meat with a distinctive flavor that one would definitely love to taste again.
To wrap it all up, because of their diet of nuts, squirrel meat has a sweet and nutty taste.
Squirrels are a common sight in parks, the idea of eating them might be foreign to some. But, squirrel meat is great for consumption.
Nutritional Benefits of Squirrel Meat
Squirrel meat is delicious, but it is much more popular because of the nutritional value that it offers. The nutritional value it offers is what soothes people that do not like the idea of chomping down on cute squirrels.
Squirrel meat contains low carb and contains a healthy amount of saturated fats. In one pound of squirrel meat, you have 34 calories, 6 grams of protein, and almost 1 gram of saturated fats. Based on research carried out on squirrel meat, it contains vitamins, protein, antioxidants, and other micronutrients.
Squirrel meat can serve as a cure for diabetes. The cause of diabetes is the lack of insulin that helps to alter the sugar in the body. The consumption of squirrel meat aids the production of insulin and helps to control blood sugar levels.
Squirrels also contain antioxidants, these antioxidants protect cells in the body from damage by free radicals. They also have anti-cancer properties that can help stop the formation of cancerous cells.
From the observation of people with rheumatism, the regular consumption of squirrel meat, or the inclusion of the meat into one’s diet can over time heal rheumatism. In men, the amount of protein, minerals, and vitamins in squirrel meat makes it perfect for increasing body stamina. For mentally unstable people, squirrel meat can cure depression and other related mental diseases.
Squirrel meat can cure polygenic abnormalities. Polygenic abnormalities are disorders like hypertension and coronary heart diseases. If you eat squirrel meat regularly it can take care of these abnormalities and reduce the risk of the occurrence of heart diseases. Squirrel meat can also help to maintain a balance of osmosis in the body.
Culinary Uses of Squirrel Meat
Squirrel meat is very versatile. In some circles, it is regarded as a hybrid between chicken and rabbit meat. Because of its likeness to chicken, it can be used in a lot of dishes and recipes. You can swap out chicken meat for squirrel meat in any of those recipes. The only drawback with squirrel meat is that you would have to cook for a longer period.
Squirrel meat can be roasted, cooked, fried, or baked. Whichever way you decide to cook your squirrel meat, it can go into soups, stews, and vegetable dishes. You could eat it as a standalone meal or integrate it into other dishes.
Squirrel meat has a very high bone-to-meat ratio. This makes it ideal for slow cooking methods, but it also makes the carving up of the meat a chore. Before cooking squirrel meat, it is a common practice to strip all those small bones away from the meat.
Squirrel meat can also be introduced to casserole dishes. However, the meat is first browned before it is transferred into a casserole dish with vegetables. Squirrel meat is lean, so it can dry out during preparation. To prevent this, you need to swathe the meat in enough oil or fat. It is also great for barbecues and is a perfect match for a syrupy barbecue sauce. It can be tenderized or marinated in marinades to make it softer before preparation.
It is commonly paired with nuts and berries, or saucy, creamy, tomato dishes. You can cook squirrel meat with alcoholic drinks like red wine, cider, or ale. Spices like chili, cayenne, and paprika also go well. You can also combine squirrel meat with herbs like parsley, sage, thyme, and rosemary.
What is the History of Squirrel Meat? How to Procure It?
Squirrels are from the Sciuridae family. There are over 200 known species of the squirrel all over the world but there are just about 7 species in North America. The best-known genus of squirrels is the Eastern Gray Squirrel that are native to North America. We also have the red squirrel of Eurasia and the North American Fox Squirrel.
One of the earliest documented uses of squirrel meat in culinary capacity is the Brunswick stew. There has been evidence that squirrels have been hunted, roasted, and eaten in the past.
Squirrel meat can be obtained from a trusted vendor or hunted down in the wild. You have to take great care to clean squirrel meat before cooking it.
Can You Eat Squirrels From Your Backyard?
Yes, you can if you live in places where the law allows it. Before eating squirrels from your backyard, you have to consider legal and safety implications. Even if it is legal to hunt squirrels in your backyard, it could be carrying diseases you might not be aware of, so it is better to purchase squirrel meat from a trusted vendor.
Facts You Don’t Know About Squirrel Meat
- Squirrel meat can be quite tough, it is common practice to cook it for long periods under low heat, or parboil it before frying.
- Squirrels are very persistent animals. In their search for food, they can cause power outages, chew through wood and metal, or dig up farms and landscaped gardens.