Just how controversial were the squirrel burgers at the Forest Showcase Food and Drink Festival?

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Well, if the Daily Mail is to be believed, people in the Forest of Dean are going gaily about their business, machetes in hand, mowing down innocent woodland creatures such as squirrels, boar and badgers – nothing is safe!
However, what can we say about the Daily Mail? That the comments are the most entertaining part?

Mail Online: Activists!

In fact, the Mail Online even goes as far as saying that there were “complaints from animal rights activists”. Yes, that’s right – activists no less! So, just how active were these activists on the day of the Forest Showcase? Well, there didn’t appear to be any activity other than eating hearty food, drinking perry and cider and watching the entertainment!

The only genuine activists seemed to be the HOOF (Hands Off Our Forests) contingency, and even they were pretty sedate. They had set up a stand for anyone who was interested in signing their petition and supporting them.

Forest Showcase annual food event.

So, what about The Extraordinary Squirrel Burger Challenge?

Well, The Extraordinary Squirrel Burger Challenge was the highlight of the day in many ways. The grey squirrel is the bane of the Forestry Commission due to the fact that their bark stripping actually kills off trees. They may look cute and fluffy, but they are still pests. So, since they are culled anyway and the meat is perfectly fine to eat, many chefs in the area have decided that squirrel deserves a place on the menu! Besides, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall says it’s OK to eat squirrel and that’s good enough for me!

Lawrence Jeffries, from Gloucestershire College, and Yvette Farrell of Harts Barn Cookery School had the pleasure of judging the competition, and both rightly pointed out that eating squirrel is no different to eating rabbit. Yvette in particular hates wasting food, and if squirrels are to be culled anyway, why let good meat go to waste?

Forest Showcase annual food event.

The food tent: brimming with many temptations!

However, even if you missed the squirrel burgers, there was still an eclectic array of stores selling some of the finest local produce. The gorgeous weather bought plenty of people out, making the event even more vibrant than usual.

The food tent was full of local cider, perry and ale producers, such as Severn Cider and Hillside Brewery, and there was some amazing food on offer. Traditionally made double and single Gloucester cheese, outdoor reared heritage breed pork and beef, handmade chocolate and Wye Valley Granola (which is growing in popularity) were just some of the temptations on offer!

Forest Showcase annual food event.

Support your local producers!

Events such as the showcase reinforce just how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful part of the country, where people still take so much pride in producing the very best quality food and drink using traditional methods. We at WyeDean deli confidential strongly believe that it’s important to support these people, and their passion for food and drink manufacturing, in order to keep these traditional methods alive. Once you have tasted the local cheese, meats and cider there’s no going back!

Forest Showcase annual food event.

 

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