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Raccoon: The New White Meat

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jan 18, 2008 8:02PM

2008_01_raccoon.jpgThe Tribune would like to remind you that we live in a state where, sometimes, people hunt and eat raccoons. It's forms the basis of their story today regarding the "word-of-mouth raccoon meat market" in Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri, and how people across the state are turning their appetites to the critters. Can't say as we blame them; raccoon is pretty tasty as a stew meat.

To be fair, it's largely word-of-mouth if you live an insular life within the city limits. Trappers - our brother-in-law engages in this practice every winter in Wisconsin to the consternation of our mother - can fetch a pretty price for skinned raccoon carcasses. With an estimated raccoon population of 2.5 million in Illinois, that's a lot of walking Daniel Boone hats walking around for hunters.

Taking the theme one step further, Tribune reporters Monica Eng and Megan Twohey brought a raccoon to moto for chef Homaru Cantu to prepare. What Cantu and his sous chef Chris Jones came up with, a scale model representation of a roadkill scene, defies description. You just have to see it for yourself.