It may look like a whole colony of muskrats has overtaken a wetland in the winter. "I think it tastes like roast beef," said Tim Burns, a volunteer at the event and member of the fire company. Hill said there had been some anxious moments preparing for this year's dinner. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/20). Well, it's not like chicken, that's for sure. Chuck Coverdale of Milford, Delaware, said muskrat is an acquired taste. The number of trappers in New Jersey has continued to decline over the years, according to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife. Just after the day's first light, Charlie Franklin Jr. and his two cousins, Donnie Franklin and Harry Franklin Jr., arrived in a pickup truck towing a 17-foot, flat-bottomed boat with an outboard motor. But test-tube meat—I was devastated when that Dutch company didn’t invite me to try it. This year there was just the 5 p.m. seating and all 125 tickets, at $30 each, were sold out in advance. Bill Gallo Jr. may be reached at bgallo@njadvancemedia.com. More in-detail how-to muskrat removal articles: I personally do not like to eat muskrat they are very gamy and have lots of little bones in the meat, they also smell terrible when you cook them, but thats just me, and people also like to eat the … Muskrat meat is dark and rich. What Do Muscat Grapes Taste Like? There is a running joke that someone has to die so another person can get on the list to buy a ticket. I would describe it was kind of floral. With sharp incisor teeth, muskrat communities do serious work felling cattail for the construction of their … Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. Like Muscat of Hamburg, Muscat Ottonel is a relatively recent addition to the Muscat family, being bred in the Loire Valley wine region of France in the 1850s. m_gallery_id = "19659564"; AZ: I’ve tried muskrat a dozen times, from Michigan to Maryland to different species in Asia and South America. When you cut it open and eat it raw, it tastes like an iodine pus bag dipped inside a fish’s ass. Andrew Zimmern, whose stomach has hosted more animals than Noah’s Ark, has made a career vicariously eating on behalf of the unadventurous among us. Speaking of primates, if you’d like to find out what humans taste like without wandering into Hannibal Lecter territory, Vsauce recently posted an excellent video on the subject. When you bite into them, there’s a rotted, fetid, pus-y liquid that makes it unpleasant. In their boat were about 180 traps to be set at low tide along the banks of the wide creek and its many tiny tributaries. There also is a faction that claims it resembles venison. "You can get hurt, but I really don't think about it," Charlie Franklin said. It's something I grew up with. Platters heaped with hot, deep-fried muskrat arrived swiftly. Well, it's not like chicken, that's for sure. He stopped short of predicting how it might taste, noting that a close relative, muskrat, has a beefy flavor, while another close relative, rabbit, tastes like … Stir in red wine and cook another minute. ", "A lot of homes down here were built on tapping muskrats over the last 100 years.". The dining room staff, most wearing their blue fire company sweatshirts, went into action with fast and attentive service the likes never seen in most restaurants. Mule deer's taste depends a lot on what its been eating and if its a buck in rut. The next day they would come back to collect their traps -- and their muskrat harvest. Hunters are not the muskrats' only predators. In the preparation of a fairly standard types of heat treatment. Ed Thomas estimated he had been coming for 30 years, since he was a child. If there’s anyone in the world who could declare with authority which animal tastes the best or worst, it’s Zimmern. Not only is their color unique, their flavor just as unique. AZ: I rarely meet an insect that I’ve not liked—except giant water bugs from Asia. Muskrat build a dome-shaped lodges of materials found in their habitat, mostly reeds or phragmites. It became charred and crispy, and the fat melted but was held together by muscle. Charlie Franklin is carrying on a family tradition with the skills he learned from his father, Charles Franklin Sr. "Trapping in the winter and crabbing in the summer. How Does Cat Taste? "We love it. Muskrat Behavior. It’s a very dark meat and tastes like lightly spoiled beef. First, a lesson in physiology: When people eat pig snoot for the first time, you realize the pigs root around and so their snoots have thousands of tiny muscles. It’s an indelible flavor of a stagnating tidal estuary ”“ a little fishy, a hint of metal, followed by that weird smell found at the bottom of a bag of forgotten spinach. With that said, like Andrew Zimmern says, animals usually taste like the environment they live in and the food they eat. Though if you did that to your shoe, your shoe would be palatable, too. I hope not, but most likely.". AZ: We ate a lot of seagulls on the Faroe Islands. The fat tasted like olive oil. They say you've never had good food until you've eaten a peach-fed possum. Now imagine a giant African porcupine, ones that weigh 100 pounds. 'musky animals' muskrat, skunk, beaver are edible but you have to be carefull when you skin them or they taste like... well words can't describe how skunk meat polluted with skunk musk tastes. Even he states, "Their relatives (referring to mice), so far as I have been able to determine, have either 'chicken-like' (in the case of rabbit) or 'beef-like' (in the case of muskrat) flavors." "It doesn't taste like chicken. They were working against nature, trying to beat the soon-to-be-rising waters. in which he links certain animals and how they taste based on evolutionary theory. m_gallery_json = "https://blog.nj.com/photogallery/8002621/19659564.json"; Laboe is a fan of the rodent, which he describes as a cross between a beaver and a rat. So I tried beaver for the 1st time recently at a wild game dinner. "If you really want to find out what South Jersey is about, you have to come to a muskrat dinner. Meaning the meat tastes like sage brush! ", "It's a big part of this fire department and big part of this township," Burns said. But there’s still plenty of fine dining to be had! If soaking in a salt water solution does not remove the game flavor enough to suite your taste, try soaking in a weak vinegar solution (1 cup vinegar to 1 qt. "Nobody would take it this year and I hate to see something like this tradition die," he said. Follow South Jersey Times on Twitter @TheSJTimes. "We're going to be the last three in our family. Those from the Franklins' harvest late last week were destined for the LAC Fire Co. dinner. So, a muskrat will not taste like chicken :) 1 0. Zimmern has stopped counting the number of species he’s consumed his decade on air, though it’s likely in the thousands. It’s a small, hooved animal, one of 20 in the African venison family—antelopes are in there. The muskrat pieces (the legs kind of look like very dark wings when cooked) were then "flash fried" for 45 seconds to a minute in a deep fryer to heat the and give them a crisp coating before they are served. I will never understand people who don't seek out new food experiences. And don’t forget (cue drum roll) muskrat stew! Kind of like a family reunion. Like raccoon, sometimes there are nodules in there that make the meat bitter. AZ: Any animal from the ocean that you pull up, especially mollusks and bivalves—under the right circumstances there’s no finer thing on planet Earth. And then the unmistakable flavor of the muskrat chimed in. Some insist it has a pot roast flavor. Squirrles and chipmunks carry a prion disorder like mad cow -- don't eat the brains. You can guard against this by making sure your dog is up to date on his rabies vaccinations. I’ve never tasted something so sweet, so cucumber-y. We had dishes there with donkey skin, with the luxury cuts, its leg meat braised. I would never want to be that irresponsible. Its long tail, partially covered with scales, helps to dive and swim. However if the mule deer is young and has been feeding on grain fields, the taste will be milder. For the three, another winter's day of trapping has begun. Because they spoil so quickly, they’re brined in a salty liquid to preserve them before they’re dried. Cook until vegetables are soft, but not browned. It's the one thing we can keep ahold of from the past and keep it going. -- A bitter wind cut across Alloways Creek and nearby marshes on a gray morning last week. It was twice as good as every raw oyster, raw fish, raw lobster, and raw botan ebi shrimp I’ve ever had. The greatest threat is for a muskrat to bite a dog that doesn't know enough to leave it alone. 9. It’s one of those foods you might as well pass on. Eating raw giant scallops in Samoa was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. These are scallops the size of basketballs, and it takes two people to lift up from the bottom of the ocean bed and put in a canoe. How did the muskrat taste? m_gallery_blog_id = "8002621"; The bite was crisp with a tender, meaty touch in the middle. There are people who will catch a possum (live) and feed it to get the wild taste out. So many fish and species in the ocean we’ve never encountered. There’s not an organ or muscle on that animal that isn’t delicious. When the dining room cleared Saturday evening, it was time for the 25 or so volunteers -- firefighters and members of the ladies auxiliary -- to set down together to enjoy a meal of their own. ", "I'll be back as long as it happens," said Michael DePalma of Winslow Township who had never been to such an event. Donkey is light and beefy, very lean. More like a spicy beef, the way Lou Fleming prepares it at Faidley’s Seafood. "A lot of people don't have the time to volunteer.". Salt and pepper to taste. Not really "gamey," it's somewhat like duck but not quite. Just say it's unique. On Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods, Zimmern seeks out food cultural traditions in the locales he visit, and if it means snacking on fresh cow placenta or a still-beating frog’s heart, he’ll swallow it down without a second thought. When a dog gets rabies, it can spread the virus to humans. There was the question about whether they would be able to get enough muskrat meat to feed the guests (the estimate they use is 4 muskrats per person) or the number of volunteers needed to carry everything off. Not really "gamey," it's somewhat like duck but not quite. Then, slowly stir in broth. So without further ado, here’s our list of Top 5 Tasty … TO: If a scientist offered to extract a tiny piece of flesh from your body, would you be interested in tasting it? The "meats," the skinned body, will fetch about $2. "It's definitely unique," he said. This also helps reduce the gamey taste. "It's muskrat. The guy we were with only sells to a dozen restaurants, mostly ones in Scandinavia, and he developed this technology that overnights live crayfish in a box. But I am on the record as saying, if I’m in a part of the world where cannibalism is still practiced—say we were with a tribe, and after a long hike we came back to find Grandpa in a pot—I would definitely try it. Even when it’s fresh, the meat tastes spoiled. What the wild yields to the Franklins is important not only in helping them to continue to make a living off the land, but for the Lower Alloways Creek Fire Co. to keep alive a tradition of its own -- the annual muskrat dinner. When we hunted porcupines in Botswana, the first thing we ate was this 4-by-4-foot carpet of skin and fat, which we threw over a dying fire. The meat of this mammal is similar in taste to rabbit and duck. Just sublime. Where the muskrats will run -- and hopefully be caught -- can depend on the tides, the winds and the temperatures among other things, the trappers say. To be completely honest, if you want the taste of a beaver, go outside and grab some tree bark and yard clippings. m_gallery_creation_date = "Monday, February 01, 2016, 3:16 PM"; The meat was parboiled the night before the dinner with onions and "special spices," according to First Assistant LAC Fire Chief Tim Burns. The kind you've attended for decades. The Straits Times (4 August 2015) - Most people would have, at some point in their lives, accidentally swallowed a fish bone or two. You can also attract natural predators like hawks, foxes, owls, etc. I wanted to be among the first to try it, when the product wasn’t so good. "They threw us such a wonderful dinner," said Steve Holmes of Turnersville who came with a group of 18. Bald eagles, osprey, owls and even mink stalk them. AZ: To this day, one of my favorite foods I’ll probably never get to taste again is porcupine skin in Botswana. Muskrat is one of those animals that has to be skinned and its fat removed. 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