Sweet raccoon meat is in vogue in the nation’s heartland, where the masked critters have been selling as fast as some hunters can snag them, the Chicago Tribune says. One Illinois dealer says he’s sold about 2,500 to more than 50 customers in the last 10 weeks. “You have to overcome certain inhibitions,” said one racoon-eater. “But when it’s prepared right, raccoon is really good.”
Many barbecue or stew the meat, rehashing a Native American tradition adopted by the pioneers. One Chicago eatery even plays up the critter’s roadkill rep, serving the meat with a yellow stripe across the plate. And an Illinois biologist says the state's hunting season keeps the critters in check; 2.5 million live there, and come under fire from almost 4,000 hunters each winter.