Squirrel is quickly becoming a part of the British palate, as curiosity—and devotion to a native icon—drives Britons to try something new, the New York Times reports. The trend can be traced in part to the surging population of gray squirrels, a North American import. The grays have been crowding out the nation's beloved red squirrels (think Beatrix Potter), and it is the grays that are ending up as main courses.
A red squirrel advocacy campaign begun in 2006 urged the British to “save a red, eat a gray!” Culls of the gray squirrel population provide a steady supply to butchers and restaurants, who say the meat sells quickly. “Part of the interest is curiosity and novelty,” said one butcher. “It’s a great conversation starter for dinner parties.”