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Squirrel meat selling fast at Leicestershire farm shop

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A farm shop has put squirrel on the menu – and customers are going nuts for it.

Pick's Organic Farm Shop in Barkby Thorpe, said the unusual meat was flying off the shelves.

Company director Nicky Chambers said: "We first decided to make it part of our range after a couple of customers asked us for squirrel.

"I think what had prompted them to ask was one of the celebrity chefs on TV cooked a tasty menu with the meat.

"Some people are put off by the thought of eating a squirrel but many are happy to try it for a change."

The company took 15 squirrels to a farmers' market in Market Bosworth on Sunday and they were soon sold.

The animals come skinned and packed and cost £4.50 each.

Ms Chambers said people should not be put off eating squirrel meat.

"I think because they are all nice and fluffy looking then people feel bad about trying it," she said.

"It's a bit like rabbit, really, but once you can get past the fluffy image it's just a meat like any other. I tried squirrel and thought it would taste like rabbit, but I think it tastes more like duck.

"I guess you can cook it any way you like.

"Me and my family had it wrapped in bacon and roasted in the oven.

"It was delicious with vegetables.

"I know at least one of our customers who makes a squirrel curry."

Squirrel is a new addition to Pick's meat range, which includes venison, partridge and pheasant in season, rabbit, wood pigeon and wild duck.

Grey squirrels are supplied by Keythorpe Game, a company run by gamekeeper Mark Liquorish and his wife Rebecca from the Keythorpe estate in Tugby.

Rebecca said the squirrels were trapped and then killed humanely.

"Our customers give us some idea of how many squirrels they want and we try to meet that demand," she said.

"For us, providing the squirrels is really no different from providing any other game."

A spokesman for the British Association for Shooting and Conservation said squirrels were pests that needed to be controlled.

He said: "It is good that this animal can be controlled and is then eaten so the meat does not go to waste.

"I have not had it myself but hear that it has quite a nutty flavour, which is not surprising, considering the animal's diet."

Have your food buying habits changed? Page 8.

Squirrel meat selling fast at Leicestershire farm shop


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