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Culinary Wonders from the World Champion Squirrel Cook Off


(Photo: Elyse Pasquale)

You may call it squirrel meat. But in Arkansas, it also goes by the name of "tree bacon" or "limb chicken." It's organic, free range, and a sustainable meat source. You can cook it in an infinite variety of ways and see a lot of those recipes at the annual World Champion Squirrel Cook Off in Bentonville, Arkansas. Elyse Pasquale of Mashable attended last year. She describes one of its unique cooking contests:

The competition is BYOS — that's "bring your own squirrel" — and the allocated cooking time is short and serious. Teams have 2.5 hours to fully prepare onsite (no pre-prepping or marinating allowed) one main dish where 80% of the meat must be squirrel, and one side dish. Taste counts; so does appearance and creativity. The winning team receives a cash prize and event proceeds are donated to charity.

In 2014, 38 teams prepared a total of 76 unique dishes. The panel of twelve judges included a cookbook author, a James Beard-nominated chef, a biologist, a hodgepodge of culinary and hunting professionals, and me.

What is your favorite way to eat squirrel?

-via Dave Barry


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