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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Waste Not, Want Not: Three Roadkill Cooking Videos

Posted By on Tue, Apr 26, 2011 at 8:15 AM


We've eaten some strange things before -- see: Rocky Mountain Oysters -- but it takes a certain type of gustatory gusto to chomp down on something you've found lying by the side of the road. Witness: three videos of those who really, really believe the maxim of "waste not, want not."

The Roadkill: A raccoon, found within San Francisco city limits, which is "super fresh dead."

The Preparation: Outdoorsman and survivalist Steven Rinella, with the help of local SF foraging king Iso Rabins trusses the raccoon, does a dry spice rub, grills it, and then braises it for several hours.

Would We Eat It?: Rinella, to his credit, seems to do a good job with the raccoon. His dinner party guests all rave about the meat, before being told they've just chowed down on nature's cutest bandit. We probably wouldn't order it off a menu, but we wouldn't turn down a bite, either.

The Roadkill: A "very fresh" gray squirrel, who looks very surprised to find himself on the cutting board.

The Preparation: The very genteel Peter Stafford skins and joints the squirrel, seasons it with salt and pepper, and then browns it in hot oil, along with bacon, carrot, onion, garlic, thyme, and red wine. A handful of juniper berries is thrown in for taste.

Would We Eat It?: It's probably because Stafford seems like the kindly British schoolteacher we never had, but this actually looks delightful. As Stafford chuckles after taking a bite, "The pleasure was all mine. And not his."

The Roadkill: A fox cub the unidentified Brit narrator and chef says is "already pretty ripe" and had "about a million bluebottle" flies swarming on it.

The Preparation: The cub's internal organs have ruptured, flooding the fox with toxins and imparting an unpleasant taste to the meat. Back at camp, the cook puts it in a pot along with a few potatoes. "It tastes a bit like chicken," he muses, before adding: "It's ever so slightly strange."

Would We Eat It?: Not a chance. In between the rotting meat and indifferent preparation, we'll take a pass on trying out fox.

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Jake Swearingen


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