Ancestral Cooking Forum
The Other Dark Meat: Racoon
Uhhhh now wait a Minute!
The Other Dark Meat: Raccoon Is Making It To The Table
He rolls into the parking lot of Leon's Thriftway in an old, maroon Impala with a trunk full of frozen meat. Raccoon — the other dark meat.
In five minutes, Montrose, Mo., trapper Larry Brownsberger is sold out in the lot at 39th Street and Kensington Avenue. Word has gotten around about how clean his frozen raccoon carcasses are. How nicely they’re tucked up in their brown butcher paper. How they almost look like a trussed turkey … or something
His loyal customers beam as they leave, thinking about the meal they'll soon be eating.
That is, as soon as the meat is thawed. Then brined. Soaked overnight. Parboiled for two hours. Slow-roasted or smoked or barbecued to perfection.
Raccoon, which made the first edition of The Joy of Cooking in 1931, is labor-intensive but well worth the time, aficionados say.
"Good things come to those who wait," says A. Reed, 86, who has been eating raccoon since she was a girl.
"This right here," she says, holding up a couple of brown packages tied with burlap string, “this is a great value. And really good eatin’. Best-kept secret around.”
Raccoons go for $3 to $7 — each, not per pound — and will feed about five adults. Four, if they’re really hungry.
Those who dine on raccoon meat sound the same refrain: It's good eatin'.