Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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squirrel a tree-dwelling rodent of the family Sciuridae, to which the woodchuck and prairie dog also belong. Squirrels have a global distribution. All species have a long bushy tail and strong hind legs; and eat nuts and seeds.

Squirrels can be cooked like rabbit or even chicken. In the United States, where wild squirrels are classified as game, their flesh is esteemed. Ashbrook and Sater (1945) offer an extensive collection of recipes (including two versions of the famous Brunswick stew) and declare:

Squirrel meat if properly prepared is truly delicious. The flesh is light red or pink in color and has a pleasing flavor. The slight gamy taste present in most game meats is not so pronounced in the squirrel. The young ones can be fried or broiled the same as rabbits.