THE DAILY MAIL has just reported that a branch the Budgens supermarket in North London has been selling the hindquarters of grey squirrel for months. The animal-loving fraternity of Fascists are already on the warpath condemning this imaginative move. I use the term 'Fascist' deliberately because as you may well know there are a lot of Jews living in North London, who would enjoy the lean meat that the grey squirrel provides. Not only that but that other persecuted group the Gypsies, who also enjoyed the hospitality of Hitler's Nazis, are known to eat squirrel. Hence, the persecution of squirrel eaters could have deep roots.
There are reasons other than those of ethnic identity to eat squirrel: as I perused my Daily Telegraph on Saturday I spotted Robin Page's column entitled 'Seeing red about grey squirrels' in his Country Diary. Mr. Page expresses his irritation at British conservation bodies for failing to 'come clean' about 'this [grey] alien from North America - egg eater, fledgling destroyer and tree damager.' He says that the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is 'bemoaning the fact that in 16 of Britain's overseas territories, alien species were causing havoc to indigenous wildlife.' According to him there are 3 million grey squirrels in Britain: the other week I was at Formby near Southport in Lancashire, where there was serious decline last year in the red squirrel population owing to a squirrel-pox virus spread by the grey squirrel.
The Telegraph is offering a recipe for Braised squirrel claiming: 'The Victorian delicacy is back on the menu' – telegraph.co.uk/earth
The grey squirrel has been described as 'a rat with good public relations'. However, Northern Voices suggests that the best squirrels for good eating are available in the autumn when they have been stuffing themselves on a strictly vegetarian diet. This means that we can safely run a recipe for squirrel in the coming issue NV12. The reason we can safely adopt squirrel as a northern dish without losing our regional identity is that as I understand it the front half can be fed to Willy Eckerslikes' ferrets and we can use the hindquarters ourselves.