The Wild Boar Inn near Windermere has introduced the new dishes in response to conservationists’ calls for extra measures to counter grey squirrel populations damaging woodlands and threatening native red species, but also to make best use of their highly nutritious meat.
As well as making a tasty, gamey flavoured pie, head chef at The Wild Boar Inn Dylan Evans has added grey squirrel ragu tagliatelle to his imaginative menu.
Wildlife campaigners want to remove grey squirrels from woodlands where they are destroying trees by ripping bark and eating the internal fibres which contain key nutrients. But they are also seeking to encourage restaurants to use squirrel meat as a delicacy and to avoid food waste.
Adam Bujok from English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues, who manages the Wild Boar Inn, explains: “The meat of the grey squirrel is not only nutritious but delicious when expertly prepared and paired with complementary seasonings and ingredients, and it’s similar in taste to rabbit.”
“We’ve put the grey squirrel pie and pasta dish on the menu by way of introduction and we’re looking forward to receiving customer feedback.”
We’re even planning some taster sessions for some of our more curious and adventurous diners. It’s sure to be something of a talking point amongst our diners. The dishes are well complemented by the craft ales we brew here on site too.”
“We also saw the recent calls for more to be done about rising grey squirrel populations and wanted to help by looking at ways of ensuring that a valuable food resource doesn’t go to waste. Dylan is already thinking up alternative dishes which we can add at a later date as well.”