Squirrels! They’re so weird. They can leap over tall buildings with their little brown tails, run through tree branches at break-neck speed, and, most importantly, they love to eat nuts. But did you know that people have been eating squirrels for centuries? Yes, you heard it right! While it is virtually impossible to find squirrel meat on the menu of an American restaurant, squirrel meat is popular in many cuisines around the world, particularly in the Philippines.
So, if you were wondering what squirrel meat tastes like, what health benefits it has, and how to cook it, read on. This article will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about this fascinating little critter.
What Is Squirrel Meat? Is It Normal to Eat Squirrel?
Squirrels are small rodents that are native to North America, Africa, and Eurasia. They are classified as game animals, and their meat is considered a delicacy in many parts of the world. Squirrel meat is eaten in many parts of the world, especially in Asia (the Philippines). Squirrel meat is white and very lean, with a texture similar to chicken but not as tender or juicy.
Squirrel meat has a mild flavor and can be prepared in several ways. The most popular ways of cooking squirrel include barbecuing, grilling, roasting on an open fire, or braising in soups and stews. Squirrel meat has a neutral, slightly sweet flavor and is very lean, making it an excellent choice for those on a low-fat diet. It is very high in protein and low in calories.
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While it is normal to eat squirrels in many parts of the world, there are many places where it is considered taboo (for example, in Olney, Illinois, you will get a $500 fine if you kill a squirrel, but you even can face criminal charges). Among the European countries, the United Kingdom does not allow hunting squirrels for meat. Moreover, in some countries, people who eat squirrel meat are shunned and seen as barbaric.
In the United States, however, eating wild game has become increasingly popular in recent years. Hunting squirrels is mainly allowed, but in some states like California, you need to get a permit before hunting squirrels. Nowadays, you can find squirrel meat on the menus of some upscale restaurants and even at some food markets in the USA, Canada, and Europe.
Can You Eat Squirrels?
Squirrel meat is considered a delicacy in many parts of the world. It is popular in Europe, particularly in France and Italy, and also in Japan. In the Philippines, it is commonly called “dilis” and is eaten with salt and vinegar or fried with garlic and onions.
Squirrel meat is popular in many countries around the world, particularly in Asia and Africa. In fact, squirrels are considered a delicacy by many people across Asia and Africa. In some countries such as China, Vietnam, and Nigeria, squirrels are hunted for their meat more than any other animal.
In European countries such as France, Belgium, Holland, and Switzerland, squirrel meat is considered a delicacy that can be served at very expensive restaurants. While it may seem strange to most Americans that people would pay so much for squirrel meat, in countries such as France and Belgium, it is considered a delicacy that is eaten during special occasions such as weddings.
In the United States, however, squirrels are not very popular in the mainstream culture. In fact, most people have never even heard of squirrel meat. Squirrels are not commonly found in restaurants or grocery stores either.
If you are wondering whether it is legal to eat squirrel meat, the answer is yes. Squirrels are not classified as endangered or protected animals in most states. Squirrel meat falls under the category of small game and is therefore legal to hunt and eat in most parts of the world, including in the United States.
However, you should always check with your local wildlife department to find out what rules apply where you live.
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Now that you know what squirrel meat is and where it is considered a delicacy, let’s dive into what squirrel meat tastes like.
What Does Squirrel Taste Like? Squirrel Flavor Profile
What does squirrel taste like? Squirrel meat is lean and has a mild nutty, creamy flavor with slightly gamey and earthy notes. Squirrel meat is tender if cooked properly as it does not have much fat. Squirrel meat is similar in texture and flavor to chicken and rabbit.
While certain parts of squirrel are similar to chicken in taste and texture, their flavor is quite different. Squirrel meat has a milder flavor and is more gamey than chicken. It also has a more delicate texture and tends to be softer than chicken meat. In addition, squirrel meat does not have an especially strong odor when compared with other meats such as beef or pork.
Squirrel meat is moderately sweet and has a rich, nutty flavor – no wonder why if squirrels stuff themselves on all sorts of nuts during their life. Squirrel meat can be used in place of rabbit, chicken, or turkey in recipes.
Just like chicken and turkey, we recommend cooking squirrel meat in sauce to make it juicy and tender. By itself, squirrel meat can be quite dry and tasteless, but if you combine the meat with the right ingredients, you will get a delicious meal that will keep you full for hours.
Is squirrel gamey? Yes, squirrel meat is gamey – it has a strong meaty flavor similar to a wild deer or elk. However, gamey is just one of the flavors a squirrel can have. Other flavors include nutty, strong, and sweet.
The nutty flavor comes from the meat smelling and tasting like hazelnuts, almonds, or walnuts due to the high amount of oil in them. The strong flavor comes from the meat tasting like a strong wild game due to being wild, not farmed. The sweet flavor comes from the meat tasting like a combination of sweet grapes, apples, and even corn.
Are Squirrels Good Tasting?
Squirrels are delicious as they have a neutral, sweet flavor with nutty and creamy undertones. However, squirrel meat can be quite dry, chewy, and rubbery if prepared incorrectly, as it does not have much fat and is very lean. You will love the taste of squirrel if you like chicken and turkey.
How to Cook Squirrel Meat? Squirrel Cooking Methods
Squirrels are often prepared using the same recipes that you would use for chicken or rabbit meat. They taste delicious when roasted or grilled over an open fire on a spit barbecue or a grill pan in the kitchen. Squirrels can also be fried whole or cut into pieces. Squirrels can be prepared in soups, stews, casseroles, and stir-fries. They can also be used to make burgers or cooked in tacos.
How do you cook squirrel, so it’s tender? Squirrels are best cooked by roasting, frying, or grilling. The meat is lean and fairly tough, so it needs to be cooked in a sauce to prevent it from becoming dry and chewy. This is why the meat of squirrels is usually cut into small pieces before cooking.
Roasting: Roasting is the most common way to cook squirrel meat. It can be done in an oven or on a barbecue grill. If you want your squirrel to be crispy, you can also grill it for about 10 minutes on each side until the outer layer of the flesh turns crispy and brownish.
Grilling: As for grilling, it will impart a smoky flavor to the squirrel, which will make it taste more gamey and nice. Be sure not to overcook squirrel as it might become tough and rubbery.
Frying: This method of cooking squirrel meat will also make it taste juicy and succulent inside and crispy on the outside. This is our favorite way of cooking squirrels.
Baking: As for squirrel meat, it should be baked at about 325°F (165°C) for about 40 minutes, turning it over halfway through the process. You can bake squirrel meat with potatoes, tomatoes, and parsley to make it juicy and tasty. Remember to add your favorite seasonings (you can use chicken or turkey seasonings)!
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Squirrel Meat Health Benefits – Is Squirrel Meat Good to Eat?
Squirrel meat is not only delicious, but it is also very healthy. It is low in fat and rich in protein, which makes it ideal for those following a low-fat diet. The meat also contains a good amount of iron, zinc, vitamin B6, and niacin. Squirrel meat is high in phospholipids, which are essential for the growth and maintenance of cells in the body. The high levels of phospholipids in squirrel meat maintain healthy blood vessels and boost the immune system to fight off infections. The protein content of squirrel meat helps repair damaged tissues and produce new cells.
Here are some other health benefits associated with eating this tasty little critter:
Low in calories – Squirrel meat is very low in calories, making it a good choice for those on a diet. One 3-ounce serving contains only 170 calories, making it a great alternative to chicken.
Low in fat – Squirrel meat is also very low in fat, with less than 3 grams per serving. This makes it a healthy choice for those trying to cut down on the amount of fat in their diets.
A great source of protein – Squirrel contains more protein than most types of meat, making it a great choice for those who need to build muscle or maintain their current muscle mass. One serving of squirrel contains approximately 26 grams of protein, which is nearly 50 percent more protein than a chicken breast.
High in iron – One serving of squirrel meat contains approximately 0.5 milligrams of iron, which is almost 8% of the recommended daily value (RDA). Iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body, which is essential for good health and energy levels.
Can you get diseases from eating squirrels? Squirrels are known to carry a number of parasites and diseases, but the chances of getting them from this animal are rare. The most common diseases that you can get from eating squirrel meat are trichinosis, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), salmonellosis, and histoplasmosis.
Squirrels are a species of rodents characterized by their bushy tails, pointed noses, and furry coats. There are over 40 species of squirrels in existence, but the most well-known ones include the grey or red squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) and the eastern gray or fox squirrel (Sciurus niger), and the flying squirrel (Petaurista albigularis). Squirrels have long been associated with food and have been eaten as delicacies for centuries.
Squirrel meat is very mild in flavor and has a slightly gamey taste. It is also a bit more on the dry side but not as dry as chicken. The meat is also quite lean, making it a good choice for those looking to lose weight and get more protein.
Squirrel Meat Taste FAQ
Can you eat squirrels from your backyard?
Yes, you can eat squirrels from your backyard, but it might be unsafe during the summer months when squirrels are more likely to carry lice, mites, and other parasites. We recommend buying squirrel meat from trusted suppliers to ensure it is safe to eat.
Is squirrel considered red meat?
Squirrel is considered white meat. It is only red when raw but turns white once cooked.
Can you eat squirrel meat raw?
You should not eat raw squirrel meat as it can carry bacteria and diseases like mites, lice, salmonella, etc. However, high temperatures will kill bacteria in squirrel meat and make it safe to eat.