[Note: This post, prepared originally for the NC Folklife Institute's NCFood blog, is hosted on the institute’s website, with excerpts and a link to the website posted here.]
Is cooking with wild foods out of place in today’s modern society? Because it’s so old-fashioned, I was surprised by how many kids had entered the Wild Food Cooking Contest in RichmondCounty. It’s the event of the spring in Ellerbe, NC, when youth and adults show off their skills for cooking deer, moose, rabbit, beaver, squirrel, and other wild game. After the judges have scored each entry, everything is served buffet-style as a tasting party for the participants, their families and friends, and others like myself who attend to see how wild our food once was and still can be.
|Rabbit pot pie was one of the many|
tasty entries in the Richmond County
My first surprise was not so much that young people had prepared tasty food; it was that the game, fowl, or fish could not have been purchased. It had to be hunted, trapped, or caught legally or received as a gift. The actual step of cooking is only the final stage in the process and only the visible one at the contest.