View Full Version : Do people acutally eat possum?

04-17-2000, 10:47 AM
Seems like every other episode of "The Beverly Hillbillies" granny would make some reference to "possum jowls" or some other possum delicacy.
I know that in Arkansas politicians still eat raccoons at "'Coon Suppers" to show the country folk that they're one of them, but I've never heard of anyone actuallly eating an opossum.
Have you?

04-17-2000, 11:08 AM
Obviously you have never strayed far from the comforting lights of the city nor ever spent some time in a small town in Florida.

Yeah. They eat opossum. They eat anything which will not eat them first. Here, in one of the lower income sections of the city, there are places like Daddy D's BBQ House, and Daddy D does not ALWAYS serve up real pork ribs covered in his spicy sauce. More like Raccoon or Opossum. Back woods 'hunters' sometimes show up at his back door with some fresh meat, dressed out and he buys it from them. Saves him on meat bills.

I used to know some woodsy folks who loved Armadillo, 'coon and opossum. Plus they thrived on snapping turtles from the lakes and ditches, along with Squirrel, Bluejays, Dove, Quail, rattlesnake and swamp cabbage.

You got to be careful these days, though, because 'coons and Opossums can be diseased, along with Armadillo.

Now, I have NEVER seen an Opossum hanging from it's tail from a branch, like in cartoons, nor know anyone who has.

By the way -- male Opossums have a bifurcated penis -- splits in two -- and females have no vagina but twin uteri in the anal canal. Plus, they have the most teeth crammed into their mouths of any animal.

No wonder Opossum matings sound like a war and they go around looking pissed most of the time. I mean, at birth, they're 'crapped' out.

CAREFUL! We don't want to learn from this!(Calvin and Hobbs)

04-17-2000, 02:02 PM
Well, they don't supply a specific recipe, but in my copy of The Joy of Cooking there are instructions for cleaning and preparing small mammals, including rabbit, squirrel, muskrat and, yes, possum.

Ukulele Ike
04-17-2000, 02:17 PM
According to my readings in the literature of the Glorious South, possum is more toothsome than coon, which can be gamy.

Doctor Jackson
04-17-2000, 02:36 PM
Never tried it myself, but I know many people who have. It is said to be a very greasy meat.

After all, what is your hosts' purpose in having a party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they'd have simply sent champagne and women over to your place by taxi. -- P. J. O'Rourke

Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
04-17-2000, 02:38 PM
Well you *can*, but hardly anyone does.

Since it's not widely available in stores, pretty much the only way you can get some is to go out and hunt for one (although you can roll the dice on some canned possum, but I never have).

Anyway, it's a lot of work for small (or no) rewards, so there ain't a lot of possum or coon hunting.

I haven't had any of either in over 20 years, but I remember liking them.

But, I also like spinach, broccoli, chitlins, pork brains, and limburger cheese.

04-17-2000, 03:31 PM
I had it once or twice as a child. Hey, my uncle liked hunting small game! But what the heck, I've also had Haggis and what the Japanese refer to as inago (roasted grasshoppers).

04-17-2000, 06:55 PM
Umm... thanks Sentinel. A bit more info then I needed, but amusing anyway. No vagina?! Life sure is hard for the possums!

04-17-2000, 07:52 PM
What's that rat-like animal? Nutria? I understand that it's pretty popular in some parts of Florida.
We are spoiled by supermarket foods, aren't we? :)

04-17-2000, 09:24 PM
...And the anecdotes keep rolling in...

While travelling on business (mainland Texas, near Galveston, c. 1935), my grandfather once asked at a restaurant if he could get anything for a quarter. What he got was a greasy, but tasty stew. The owners of the restaurant let him finish before telling him that it was 'possum. Sounds like it was never really a preferred meat.

So how many opossum jowls make one serving? ;)

neutron star
04-18-2000, 02:28 AM
What's that rat-like animal? Nutria?

Nutria rats are actually kind of cute looking. They're furry brown things about the size of a cat. They doggie paddle across the bayous and try to avoid the gators. They're not native to the American South. IIRC, someone brought a few to Louisiana from South America 150 years ago and they multiplied.

I don't personally know anyone who has ever eaten them, but I do know that the Louisiana state government has, on occaision, asked its citizens to hunt and eat nutria to help control the rodents' population.

04-18-2000, 05:45 AM
As one of those "country folk", I can assure you that people do eat opossum, as well as bear, racoon, squirrel, mud turtles, rattlesnakes, groundhogs and- before they were declared endangered- red-headed woodpeckers. Opossum, groundhogs and bear are somewhat fat and "gamey" tasting when fried or cooked and therefore are usually prepared as an ingredient in some other dish, such as southern pot-pie. And yes, they do hang upside-down from their prehensile tails.

Johnny L.A.
04-18-2000, 07:20 AM
Last year NPR had a report that the Louisiana state government wanted to feed nutria to prisoners. They said that the little herbivores are clean, cheap, plentiful... and they taste good (no, I haven't tried it). It seems like a reasonable idea to me, but most people seem to think nutria are giant rats and think it's wrong. Being in L.A. instead of LA, I don't know what ever happened with the proposal.

"I must leave this planet, if only for an hour." -- Antoine de St. Exupéry

Are you a turtle?

04-18-2000, 08:19 AM
Originally posted by m3:
I know that in Arkansas politicians still eat raccoons at "'Coon Suppers" to show the country folk that they're one of them, but I've never heard of anyone actuallly eating an opossum.
Have you?

Yep. Here in the wilds of Flint, Michigan there are a lot of woods behind my house and frequently, wild animals such as opposum, fox and even skunks come into my yard looking for the garbage cans. I caught one of the possums with a snare I got at the Army/Navy surplus store and killed, cleaned and BBQ'd it up. VERY greasy meat but good though.

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