More recently, there have been concerns about squirrel meat's suitability in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, but Ivan Tisdall-Downes aims to put people's minds at rest. “I think a lot of false information was shared in the past about what it can do to you," he told Fine Dining Lovers. "Like eating a lot of wild food, there are various diseases [the animals] will catch, but as long as you go through the proper protocols for eating it - you know, checking the livers, checking that it's healthy, cooking it properly - you should be fine. You don't tend to eat squirrel carpaccio; squirrel would normally cook for a good six to eight hours. Until there's a definitive piece of advice on whether you should eat it or not, I don't see the problem with it.”
Chefs like Tisdall-Downes maintain that eating squirrel can be part of a more responsible approach to serving meat in restaurants, and it is something that will become more regularly seen on menus in Europe and the US. But what does it taste like?
It’s a very lean meat and therefore a healthy alternative. It’s very similar to rabbit, if slightly more gamey. The meat suits being slow-cooked, so is perfect for casseroles, stews and ragus. But while it's unlikely that squirrel will become a feature of the fast-food restaurant scene, it could become a more popular choice on menus for restaurants serving local and sustainably sourced game.