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UK diner puts wild squirrel dish on menu: Nuts, or a tasty dish?

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A restaurant in Manchester, England has caused a bit of a stir after adding a dish made from squirrel to its menu. 

Street Urchin, an English market diner, has a constantly changing menu, its website notes.

One of its newest dishes — deep-fried squirrel — is eliciting reactions.

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“The crispy buttermilk wild grey squirrel is paired with a creamy pulled ham hock cassoulet,” Jam Press reported. 

The squirrel is “served with boujee hazelnut bread croutons,” as well as a “nettle pesto” and costs £22.50 (nearly $28), said Jam Press.

A deep-fried squirrel dish was recently added to the menu of a restaurant in Manchester, England. 

A deep-fried squirrel dish was recently added to the menu of a restaurant in Manchester, England.  (Jam Press)

The United Kingdom is home to two different species of squirrels: the Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) and the grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), says the Natural History Museum’s website. 

The grey squirrel is far more prevalent than the Eurasian red squirrel, despite not being native to the United Kingdom, the museum also notes. 

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There are about 2.5 million grey squirrels in the U.K., compared to roughly 140,000 Eurasian red squirrels, they said. 

The grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) is not native to the U.K., but is by far the most populous squirrel in the region.

The grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) is not native to the U.K., but is by far the most populous squirrel in the region. (Jam Press/iStock)

It is legal to shoot or trap squirrels in the United Kingdom, said Jam Press, but the critter is not a commonly served food item. 

Reactions to Street Urchin’s new dish were decidedly mixed, Jam Press reported.

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“Some things are so good it makes me want to break my vegetarian diet,” said diner William Lailey.

This dish, however, was not one of them. 

Street Urchin, a restaurant in Manchester, recently added squirrel to the menu.

Street Urchin, a restaurant in Manchester, recently added squirrel to the menu. (Jam Press)

“I draw the line at creamy rodent stew,” he said. 

Others were more adventurous in their palate preferences. 

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“Looks very interesting,” said Mong Yang Lo, who was quoted by Jam Press. “Definitely would give it a go.” 

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One diner likened the deep-fried squirrel to a more conventional food item. 

“Tastes like chicken thighs,” said diner Deanna Thomas. 

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