This article is part of the Fur Trapper Saga series.
Your Delighted Host & Unparalleled CarnivoreWith great pride I invite you to join me for this, the inaugural edition of E. C. Fouke's Compendium of Meats & Edibles. I trust that in time this humble endeavor shall find its home beside the most treasured works of publication, and an indispensable companion to that most splendid of souls, the American Carnivore.
Documenting the vast selection of meats I have sampled will be a laborious task indeed. To properly catalogue each with the appropriate degree of verbosity would require a library's worth of paper and the clearing of many great forests. I shall, for the sake of brevity and utility, dedicate this first edition to only a small sampling of the meats I have supped upon. In subsequent editions, I shall speak at length about other meats, until, at long last, I have exhausted the full catalogue of all meats, and the innards of every beast has thus been described accurately and expertly.
You can be sure of my expertise due to my singular dedication to meat. I have letters of proclamation written by my mother and father, a dozen doctors, countless clergymen, three state governors and numerous princes, warlords, fakirs and tribal chieftains attesting to the fact that I have never eaten a fruit or vegetable. I rely on the animals to consume such trivial foods and pass on any necessary nutrition to me. Even as an infant my parents were unable to feed me fruit or vegetable, neither by force nor coercion. The only thing I would allow in my mouth was a piece of fresh meat. In the great many years since my commitment has not wavered in the slightest.
Let us now get to the meat of the matter as I delve into the fauna I have so dutifully laid taste to.
~ Parakeets of the Tropical Persuasion ~
The parakeet provides little more than a scant few morsels, however, eaten in great volumes these colorful birds might sustain a man's hunger for as much as one to two hours. While their taste varies little from other birds, their bright plumage makes them seem as tho one is enjoying a sugared treat.~ Crabs of All Types & Sizes ~
The shell of the crab is often demolished and discarded in the spirited enterprise of acquiring the moist and succulent meats within, yet I have found the shell to be an appetizing article in its own right. Devouring the shell entitles the eater to delicious fluids and juices that would otherwise be wasted.~ Raven ~
Though a stout raven may make for a pleasant and filling meal, beware the terrifying nightmares that follow, for they are harrowing, ungodly and more vivid than waking life itself. Best roasted over a fire in the manner of our primitive ancestors.~ Lemur ~
The candied eyes of the lemur are grapelike in texture and make a delightful Christmastime treat for young and old alike. Of great hindrance to partaking of this meat is the geographical remoteness of lemur populations. These strange hopping monkeys prefer to reside on an untamed island neighbor to the African continent.~ The Common Cat of the House ~
While some would regard this animal as a friend to man and even a dear companion, I would be a poor steward of science if I did not, for the sake of furthering the human understanding of meat, sample the common feline. The first thing one must know about cats is that they do not wish to be eaten. A great deal of effort was required to catch the particular cat I ate, and many scratches were suffered in the execution. In the end, the cat had more than earned its fate. Unfortunately, cat meat earns the dubious distinction of being the only meat to best my bowels, which have been praised by no less than a dozen medicine men and three governors. The meat exited my person in a state hardly dissimilar to when first eaten. Its taste was otherwise pleasant, not unlike rabbit.~ Shrew ~
The rather meatless shrew was quite distasteful and unfilling when carved in the traditional manner of small game, but when brined, pickled and eaten whole, in the manner of a sardine, it proved quite satisfying.
~ Marmot ~
I found the meat of the marmot wholly unsatisfactory. As I am a diligent man, I sampled no less than 127 marmots, an entire meadow's worth by my reasoning, and found each and every one marmot possessing of the same bland, unappetizing traits. Still, I feel some inkling to give the marmot another chance to prove its mettle, and will conduct further testing when the winter breaks and the alpine snows begin their retreat.~ Cockroach ~
Once a man overcomes the stigma of eating an insect, he will find a pleasant and abundant source of nourishment. The cockroach is a most common form of insect, and possess a strong bitter taste. While bugs cannot by themselves make a meal unless harvested in great quantity, they make an excellent replacement for banal and meatless leisure foods such as peanuts and popcorn. The man who makes a friend of the insect will also find himself privy to a near-limitless supply of free meat, and of which his competitors are almost exclusively simple creatures easily outsmarted.~ Beaver ~
The most appetizing aspect of the beaver is not its meat but its pelt, which has a pleasantly hairy and fibrous texture. This is one area where I find common agreement with my fur-fancying cousin Philip: The outside of the beaver is its most desirable part. While he would foolishly turn it into a cap or coat to warm the skin, I would put it to appropriate use warming my innards.~ Pika ~
The pika demands considerable effort to catch, as these small rodent-like creatures exist only in high altitudes. Despite its meager diet of flowers, the spry and squeaky pika boasts a most pleasant taste worthy of the climb. As they are small, one must catch an abundance of pikas to provide a satisfactory meal. As a general rule, it takes 36 pikas to satiate a grown man of reasonable size, though I recommend catching double in case seconds are desired.~ Anaconda with Intact Capybara in Gullet ~
It is a magnificent treat when nature affords the carnivore the chance to partake of two of its most splendid meats bundled together. I must confess that I found the two meats to be so inseparable that I refuse to eat either one when apart from the other. Thankfully, the anaconda can be safely relied upon to devour the careless capybara, and engineering such a meeting is well within the realm of man's capabilities. Best eaten as a roast, garnished with any small animals available.
In pursuit of new tastes I have even found myself eating things which may or may not be meat. If I suspect something of having at one time belonged to an animal, I find myself obliged to sample it. What follows is a brief examination of some of these things:
~ A Turkish Belt ~
My hunger for new flesh once took me to Turkey, where I happened to purchase a rather ornate belt from one of the many crude shops dotting the crowded streets of Izmir. Sometime later, during a most tremendous and unsettling wait between meals, I found myself questioning its edibility. The spirit moved me indeed, for a mere second passed and I was gnawing voraciously on the thing. I could tell almost instantly it was indeed of a meaty origin. While extremely tough, the belt eased my great hunger pangs and loosened my trousers, allowing me to consume additional servings when the long, stubborn wait between meals finally came to an end. I shall endeavor to buy extra belts should I ever return.~ A Cloth Doll with Button Eyes ~
I must confess the torments of hunger have many times moved me to desperate action. On one such occasion so great was the rumbling in my belly that I plucked from the hands of my dear sweet niece a small doll. From a distance the doll appeared as though it could either be made from or stuffed with a meat, and its button eyes glistened under candle light. Alas the doll was made of a cloth, which, despite its mammalian origin, tasted nothing like meat. The cotton inside was even less appetizing, and the buttons were hard and wooden. I am a man who leaves no meal uneaten, and was able to finish the wretched doll, though considerable effort was needed to swallow each bite. Perhaps if boiled the doll would have proven more accommodating? I shall forever wonder.
I would be remiss not to remind my dear readers of a challenge I issued some time ago and still yearn to see answered. I am offering the stately sum of $1,000.00 to any living man, woman or child who acquaints me with a meat I have yet to taste. It would be hubris to claim I have sampled every living meat, and so I invite you to humble and surprise me, and to be rewarded doing just that.
A most gay thing that would be!
I must, however, personally appeal to the anonymous gentleman who has for some time been sending me spoiled and rancid meats. Stop what you are doing, sir! I have sampled them all, and they are nothing unfamiliar to my palate. I would be an amateur if I could not readily identify skunk, weasel, horse and badger meat, rotten or fresh.
And thus I must conclude this first edition with a heavy weight lifted from my shoulders. Tho the road ahead is sure to be long, I remain resolute in my quest to document the meats of this great world. For now I am parched and must seek new energies from that great thing for which we share a common love.
May your meals be blessed with the freshest and most rewarding of kills!
With great pride & hunger for success,
Eugene Cranford Fouke,
Proud American Carnivore
We might find we have more in common than we think if we just stop fighting long enough to combine our bodies into a singular organism.
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