You probably won’t find it in the supermarket, but out in a parking lot in Missouri, you could easily cross paths with a raccoon, the Kansas City Star reports. Not one ravaging the Dumpster, but one dressed and packed for dinner. A best guess has Missourians yearly consuming about 100,000 of the varmints, which are said to be delicious after brining, parboiling, and slow roasting or barbecuing. “Good things come to those who wait,” one lifelong aficionado says.
“This is a great value,” she continues. “And really good eatin’. Best-kept secret around.” A whole raccoon, which can feed up to 5 people, costs between $3 and $7. The animals, prized for their pelts, are sold without USDA inspection, but officials say they are generally safe from disease. “During grad school, my roommate and I ate 32 coons one winter,” one biologist says. “It was all free, and it was really good.”