Sunday, May 11, 2008
Squirrels have long been on the menu at some top restaurants – but now they have found their way into the humble pasty.
May contain nuts: Butcher Dave Simpson with a wild grey squirrel pasty
And it seems shoppers can't get enough of the healthy meat which tastes great, is good for the environment and is very free range.
Butcher David Simpson, who sells the pasties in Fraddon, Cornwall, said: 'People like the fact it is wild meat, low in fat and local – so no food miles.'
David Ridley, who owns a fish and game store in Northumberland, is also surprised by the success of grey squirrels, which apparently taste like wild boar or duck.
'I wasn't sure at first, and wondered would people really eat it. Now I take every squirrel I can get my hands on,' he said.
'I've had days when I have managed to get 60 and they've all sold straight away.
'It is moist and sweet because its diet has been berries and nuts.'
There are about 2.5million grey squirrels in Britain and killing them for food could help control numbers as they are over-running the native red squirrel.
Keith Viner, former chef of Michelin-starred Pennypots in Cornwall, said: 'Southern-fried squirrel is good. And tandoori style works.
'It is especially tasty fricasséed with Cornish cream and walnuts. But the one everyone seems to like is the Cornish squirrel pasty.'