10 American Animals to Eat on Memorial Day

Memorial Day is almost upon us. If you don’t have your barbecue plans ready, you better get on them. In honor of America, the greatest country in the world (!), here’s a list of ten adorable and delicious animals to throw on your grill.

1. Gray Wolf (canis lupus)

Photo courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Mmmmmm. Just look at the choice cuts in that face and neck. Gray wolves are lean and mean on the outside, lean and chewy on the inside – perfect for supporting our jerky loving troops.

I recommend either marinated steaks on the grill or dried and salted strips as an appetizer.

2. Black-footed Ferret (Mustela nigripes)

Photo courtesy Brian Gratwicke/Flickr

Boy howdy, these little fuckers are fast. Took me nearly all day to catch my first one. That’s because I was trying to be all “eco-friendly” by using a net. Last time I’ll do that. Now I go out there with a double-barrel full of bird shot and I recommend you do the same. Pulling the pellets out at home is better than the sunburn you’ll get chasing these bastards across the plains for hours. Trust me.

I’ve tried this choice meat a few different ways, but found that they taste best when slow-roasted on a rotisserie. Add a little A-1 sauce and you’re good to go.

3. Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis)

Photo courtesy Ana Cotta/Flickr

Watch out! These cuddly little creatures will bite you! I learned the hard way with this one too. I thought it was purring, when it was actually plotting. Damn near bit my hand off. That particular ocelot tasted extra good, I’ll tell you what.

If you’ve ever had cat before, you’ll enjoy ocelot meat. If not, it takes some getting used to, but once you go ocelot, you never go oce-not! Hey-o!

4. Wood Bison (Bison bison athabascae)

Photo courtesy Angsar Walk

Bet you thought all the bison in North America were dead, didn’t you? Think again. These wood bison like to roam around up north in Canadia. Looks tasty, eh?

Steaks are the way to go with this one. If you’re lucky enough to get a whole bison back across the border, you’ll be eating good for months. If you know you’ll be cramped for space, I recommend dressing it up there.

5. North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis)

Photo courtesy N.O.A.A.

Ahoy there, matey! Have your harpoon ready when this tasty treat comes up for some air. People on the east coast have been enjoying this meaty moby dick for centuries. Now’s the time to get yours.

If you know how to eat lobster, you know how to eat whale – lots and lots of butter.

6. California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus)

Photo courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

This delectable may not sound like something you’ll want to serve your guests, but trust me – those who know, know. This is actually one of the tastiest consumers of rancid meat out there. While a condor’s meat is fine, just be sure to stay away from its stomach.

Don’t get me wrong, you’ll want to add plenty of salts and spices. I recommend serving this bird of dead prey gutted and on a platter with an apple in its mouth.

7. Jaguar (Panthera onca)

Photo courtesy Pascal Blachier/Flickr

If that adorable face doesn’t say “eat me,” I don’t know what does. This jaguar is practically begging you to kill it and take it home for supper. Jaguar meat is like ocelot meat, only better. More juicy somehow.

As the old saying goes, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. I suggest you be creative with this one. It’s really hard to mess up jaguar meat, so don’t be shy. You never know, you might just discover a truly extraordinary way to enjoy jaguar meat.

8. Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

Photo courtesy qnr/Flickr

The ultimate pre-dinner soup right here. Also, be sure to really impress your guests by serving American flag cupcakes in the hollowed out shell.

9. Florida Panther (Puma concolor coryi)

Photo courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

I have to be honest, I’m not too crazy about Florida panther meat. I don’t like the hockey team much either. But my southern friends and family rave about it. It’s probably because Florida panther meat does not travel well. By the time it gets up to us northern folk, it’s dry as a bone and almost as tasteless. So next time you’re down on the Everglades, be sure to give it try. Just don’t bring any home with you.

Because of how poorly it travels, I recommend having this feline delicacy right where you grab it. Over a campfire and a song would be the best.

10. Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna mokarran)

Photo courtesy hyku/Flickr

Not as tasty as the great white, but at least this fish is American! USA! USA! USA!

Ironically, you’ll want to use a meat hammer here to tenderize the meat before cooking. Any old hammer will work, really, but if you’re doing it in front of guests, it’s probably best to keep things clean.

That’s it, my fellow Americans. Have a safe, happy, and tasty Memorial Day weekend. And don’t forget to let me know how cooking went in the comments.


Author: Joe McVeigh

I'm a linguist who researches email marketing. I also teach at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland. I write about language and linguistics on my blog, ...And Read All Over, and I write about language and marketing on my other blog, Email and Linguistics.

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