Grim news from foodie paradise Southwark, home of Borough Market: you can now buy lasagne made from squirrels' legs.
Ironically served up at Ivan Tisdall-Downes' restaurant Native, the dish is made from non-native grey squirrels rather than the good ol' British red ones (of which there will no doubt be loads more after Brexit, because sovereignty. Or something).
The meat comes from the squirrels' hind legs, and is slow-cooked into a ragu, then layered between sheets of celeriac (because actual pasta is just too normal, we guess).
Tisdall-Downes – formerly of River Cottage – apparently sources the squirrel meat from his supplier of wild boar, who also culls the furry buggers. Delightful.
Apparently, diners at Native are interested in novel meats that don't contribute much to their carbon footprint. Grey squirrels are everywhere here (since Americans introduced them in the 1800s and they killed most of the native red ones), so they don't have to be flown over.
Apparently, they taste a bit like rabbit.
Tisdall-Downes tells the Evening Standard:
"Squirrel is one of the most sustainable proteins you can cook really. It is almost exactly the same in taste as rabbit.
It's tasty, it's not as gamey as rabbit, it's nice white meat. It's good to cook down slowly and make stews from and ragus for lasagne.
It's very good for you, it's quite lean."
I think sustainable eating is becoming more popular now. More and more people are more conscious of their carbon footprint and the damaging additives that get put in their food."
Other dishes on the Native menu include Wild Mallard, Douglas Fir Pine & Millet Cake, and a dessert called Marrowmel – White Chocolate & Bone Marrow Caramel. Yes, you read that correctly.
The menu also contains the deeply appetising sentence "Please be aware our Game is wild and dishes may contain shot."
'Scuse us, we're just going to chuck up our lunch.
Update 7/2: This article has been corrected to reflect the fact that Native is very close to Borough Market, but not technically part of it.