Rotten Brains

Categories: Food, General, Health, neither-camelids-nor-goats, and United States of America.

As the year draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on times past.

Back in September of 1997, when the media found out about the various transmissible spongiform encephalopathies that can arise from eating neural material of infected animals, CNN ran a story specifically about the eating of squirrel brains as a delicacy in certain southern US states.

The best part is the graphic they ran along with the story, which helpfully points out what part of the squirrel one should avoid eating:


Have a pleasant new year, and watch out for those squirrels.


  1. Adam

    Most of Texas is properly “Southwest,” as opposed to “Deep South” — culturally, we’re more like Colorado than we are like Tennessee. That said, it’s certainly possible that the more rural areas of East Texas include varmint in their diet, but it’s certainly not as prevalent as it is in the deep south (roughly speaking: Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia; and, to a lesser degree, Florida and Louisiana).

  2. Adam

    Yeah, you go back far enough, and all game was fair game in pretty much every state. My copy of “Joy of Cooking” (the last edition edited by the Rombauer family) includes directions for cleaning and dressing armadillo, along with a handful of recipes. And Missouri (Irma Rombauer’s home state) is far more midwest than south…

  3. ben

    We still eat varmints in the more Southwestish parts of Texas. For example, rattlesnake, javelina, and deer. (If you’ve ever tried to keep shrubs in the hill country, deer are indeed varmints).

    And since we’re picking on Adam’s state list, I guess they like squirrel a _lot_ in Arkansas.

  4. Adam

    Well, yeah, but those are the tasty varmints. I mean, I eat those. 😉

    And I brain-oed Arkansas for Mississippi — fixed now…