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Squirrel: "domestic" vs. wild


phaelon56
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I have yet to try squirrel but will do so when the opportunity arises. In the course of discussing fried squirrel with a friend recently (she grew up in Central Florida farm country and squirrel was a regular menu item) she mentioned something interesting.

One of her relatives insists that there's a qualitative difference between the meat from wild squirrels vs those that have spent their lives very close to populated areas (and therefore presumably accessing different food sources and a different diet).

I can easily understand why a free range chicken might taste better than a factory bird but country squirrel vs. city squirrel? Is someone pulling her leg or might there be some truth to the assertion?

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I have yet to try squirrel but will do so when the opportunity arises.  In the couirse of discussing fried squirrel with a friend recently (she grew up in Central Florida farm country and squirrel was a regular menu item) she mentioned something interesting.

One of her relatives insists that there's a qualitative difference between the meat from wild squirrels vs those that have spent their lives very close to populated areas (and therefore presumably accessing different food sources and a different diet).

I can easily understand why a free range chicken might taste better than a factory bird but country squirrel vs. city squirrel?  Is someone pulling her leg or might there be some truth to the assertion?

I don't know, man. I've eaten alot of the little buggers in my life, but I'm not sure that I've ever eaten a city squirrel. Most of the ones that I have enjoyed were certified rednecks.

Now, come to think of it, I have eaten a number of golf course squirrels and a few backyard squirrels, but they pretty much were all the same to me.

So, I guess my answer is, well, I'll have to eat a city squirrel and find out-though she might be referring to wharf rats. City folks get all confused with this nature business.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Going by the old Brillat-Savarin/Tiny Tim/Chairman Kaga admonishment, "You are what you eat." I'd expect rural squirrels to taste like farm produce and their urban kin like garbage?

SB (red and grey squirrel are obviously different) :wink:

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40 years ago, no problem, they all tasted the same. Today with all the carcinogens around cities I would not eat a city squirrel but you also cannot shoot or harvest a city squirrel because of firearms laws. So the question is moot! Squirrels harvested from farm oak groves still taste the same as they did 40 years ago. We just had squirrel stew last week.-Dick

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"So, I guess my answer is, well, I'll have to eat a city squirrel and find out-though she might be referring to wharf rats. City folks get all confused with this nature business. "

Robert Klein once pointed out that a squirrel is merely a rat with good public relations.

"Last week Uncle Vinnie came over from Sicily and we took him to the Olive Garden. The next day the family car exploded."

--Nick DePaolo

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Today with all the carcinogens around cities I would not eat a city squirrel but you also cannot shoot or harvest a city squirrel because of firearms laws.

Is that the only way to get them? What about leaving a large rattrap out on the fire escape with some acorns as bait?

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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Robert Klein once pointed out that a squirrel is merely a rat with good public relations.

That's always been my feeling. Rat with a fuzzy tail

It's funny. I've always heard people claim that and ever quite believed it. But apparently they ARE actually rodents (click me for Wikipedia entry!). The same Order as rats (Rodentia), although a different Family.

If you truly hate squirrels, you can perhaps indulge in a bit of "Squirrel Fishing".

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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OK, I've let this go on long enough! As a member in good standing of the squirrel anti-defamation league I'll not abide this any longer. This 'sqrl' lives in the country, works in the city, and is staying as far away from all of you as possible :raz::shock:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Today with all the carcinogens around cities I would not eat a city squirrel but you also cannot shoot or harvest a city squirrel because of firearms laws.

Is that the only way to get them? What about leaving a large rattrap out on the fire escape with some acorns as bait?

You may want to check your city's laws...in some areas it's illegal to kill a squirrel by any method.

I have no burning desire to eat the fuzzy tailed rats myself...also looks like too much work for the amount of meat involved.

Reminds me of a story about a friend's elderly grandmother. She used to make squirrel gravy, but her eyesight was failing so she missed some of the fur while skinning them....furry gravy :sad:

Edit to add: my neighbor feeds the squirrels people-quality nuts and other food. Wonder if that would make them tastier?

It also kills me that she feeds rodents but complains if my cats wander over into her yard :hmmm:

Edited by Darcie B (log)
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Ahhh Yes, the elusive "tree rat" :biggrin:

Actually, squirrel rates high on my list of wild game. To me it tastes much better than rabbit, is more protein based, and doesn't stink to high heaven when you clean them.

I'm not sure if squirrel has ever found its way into eating establishments or not. I assume not.

Now with that said, squirrel that happen to be urban dwellers tend to resort to dietary tactics that to me would leave them unsatisfactory for the table. They will scrounge through a trash can or dumpster in a heartbeat.

My advice would be to pack up your 22 caliber rifle, complete with scope, leave the shotgun at home please, and go find some public hunting land, or a farmer that will let you hunt, and get yourself some country squack!

Remember, a headshot assures a very nice end result. Clean your squirrels in the field. Take along a pair of sidecut pliers for their tiny lil feets and skin them while they are still warm. Place cleaned squirrel in a plastic bag and then in your hunting pouch. You'll be glad you didn't wait until you get home.

Ok, seriously, squirrel is very tasty, and I'm sure that you folks could do them up real proud :wink:

Edited by fungi_provider (log)
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I have yet to eat city squirrel and IMHO, the only way to kill a squirrel is a .22 rifle, no shot to bite into.

I think I must have gotten soft in my advancing years because now I let the little buggers strip my walnut trees so I'm sure they would be very tasty.

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Oh, squirrel that has been dining in my grandfather's pecan trees, fat and sassy, yep a 22 and never a shotgun. Those pellets can ruin an otherwise lovely meal.

Fried up with grits and eggs and gravy early in the morning.

I think there is a cold weather issue with squirrel as well. Parasites, typical of other game.

It has been years. Now they just rob my bird feeder with impunity. I watch them and giggle, but my suburban squirrels are not nearly the fine fat specimens that conspired to harvest all of my grandfather's pecans, and bury them for hard times.

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