The squirrel is without a doubt one of the most distinctive and recognizable creatures in the world. With its bushy tail, adorable facial features, and innate abilities to scurry up and down surfaces, you’d likely be able to spot a squirrel without ever seeing a picture. When most people hear the term squirrel they already have a good mental image as what the creature looks like. And, 90% of the time 90% of these individuals have the image dead on.
Here is the quick answer to what does squirrel taste like? Many people have described squirrel meat as a hybrid between chicken and rabbit. Whatever the situation is, you can expect somewhat of a sweet and nutty profile when consuming squirrel. And, this is simply because of their diets.
Of course, just being able to pick a squirrel from a lineup doesn’t mean that you know everything there is to know about it.
In fact, did you know that there are many people that feast on this creature? That’s right! You likely won’t see it on any restaurant menus any time soon or ever, but this doesn’t mean that the creature doesn’t offer a flavor profile coupled with nutritional benefits that might be appealing to you.
Want to know whether or not squirrel meat might be right for you?
How Does Squirrel Taste
There is no denying that the thought of eating squirrels can be a bit unappealing. They do belong to a rodent family. This is completely understandable, but you’ve likely tried chicken or fish, right? So, why not give the squirrel a shot?
If you can get past the mental image, you’ll find that squirrel tastes extremely similar to that of the rabbit. However, the gamey texture is much more subtle in squirrel, and this is just one of the reasons that some people actually prefer this meat to other creatures.
They thrive and live on walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, fruits, and vegetables. When it comes right down to it, squirrel meat will likely taste similar to the meats that you are already consuming, but with a bit of a more dominant nutty flavor.
While there are several different species that you could run into, you should expect most of them to taste similar, given their similar eating routines and habits.
A Rundown Of The Squirrel And Its Meat
In today’s world, it is more important to know as much as you can about the items that you consume. This is especially true when it comes to wild creatures.
Most people might think they know what a squirrel is, and they may be able to spot one out of a lineup of other creatures, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they know everything needed.
The squirrel is one that belongs to a family known as Sciuridae. Other rodents that can be classified as a Sciuridae are the mouse, shrews, chipmunks, ground squirrels, and tree squirrels.
Speaking of ground and tree squirrels, most people don’t even know that there are over 200 different species of squirrels around the globe. Despite this fact, there are only 5 of these species that are commonly found in the United States.
Amongst these species, these creatures can vary in size, weight, and taste. The smallest known is the African pygmy, which usually ranges from 7 to 10 centimeters.
The largest of the known species is the Malabar giant, which grows to be as big as 30 to 35 centimeters. Despite their varying differences, all squirrels are easily identifiable thanks to their bushy and furry tails, slender bodies, and big eyes.
The color of the coat might vary, but these other factors will remain constant.
As far as the meat goes, most individuals that consume squirrel on the regular will consume the entire animal, except for the tail. That’s right, they’ll eat all the meat, the brains, the eyes, the liver, and the hearts.
Of course, this isn’t for everyone, but it is a viable option if you think you’d like the flavor profile and texture. Some people just stick to the actual meat.
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The Nutritional Aspects And Health Benefits
Sweet and nutty they squirrel meat might be, but you might be surprised to learn that this isn’t the main reason that it is so preferred among many hunters. A lot of people simply want to take advantage of its nutritional aspects.
It is a perfect low carb meal with even lower saturated fat. In fact, it has been said that just a pound of squirrel meat contains 6 grams of protein with 0.9 grams of fat, all only consisting of a mere 34 calories. That’s a pretty healthy and nutritious meal when you sit down and look at it.
Along with this, squirrel meat can be served and cooked up in a variety of ways with varying vegetables and fruits. Regardless, squirrel meat offers more than just a rich protein profile. You’ll also find that it is stacked with good fats, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and electrolytes.
Many people that regularly eat squirrel meat claim that it can do everything from treat kidney pain to providing mental clarity. It has even been said that it is a great stamina booster for men, given its rich profile of electrolytes.
Cooking Squirrel Meat
Squirrel meat can be served and cooked in a multitude of ways. In fact, most people just substitute the meat for their chicken, given that the two are strikingly similar with strikingly similar flavor profiles.
That being said, you’ll certainly want to make sure that you let your squirrel meat cook a bit longer than you do your traditional chicken.
Roasting and frying the meat are always two of the first go-to methods for many. One of the first-ever squirrel culinary experiences has been documented as being a stew dish. People have been consuming slow-cooked squirrel meat in stews for years now.
Bushy tailed and bright-eyed the squirrel might be, but you probably never thought that he’d offer the nutritional profile that he does. This coupled with his strikingly similar taste to that of chicken, and the creature sounds like a real culinary winner.
Of course, prep and cook times will take a bit longer, but what’s a little extra time for something a little healthier? Just be just to take your time because squirrel has an extremely high bone-to-meat ratio, so slow-cooking is always the way to go.