I will not source this because I am conflating too much, but, for your culinary enjoyment:
So, archaeologist Dr Fairchild of the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff has revealed that, 6,000 years ago, hedgehog was one of the choice or, more accurately, opportunistic meat finds for the Sunday roast. Our ancient ancestors may possibly have expressed their hairy lip-smacking and furry finger-licking appreciation of its unique culinary merits with deep hedgehog mimicking grunts of guttural satisfaction; but the question that needs answering is, what exactly does it taste like?
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The flavour of hedgehog could be described as follows: delightful initial bursts of badgery foxiness transform into grungy pork nutty acorn with caramalised apple flavours, together playing a subtle counterpoint to a base rhythm of peaty earth and mole. This cacophonic complex of flavours reaches a wild boar crescendo, fading out with the distant cry of seagulls...
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Hedgehogs want to be cooked and eaten...why else would they choose to hibernate in what are essentially giant barbeques?
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Apparently the thing to do is to take a whole hedgehog (gutted but otherwise intact) and surround it with [clay] until it resembles a large, square brick, then bury it in a firepit and let it slowly roast.
Once the clay is fired to a solid crisp you can tap it with a hammmer and chisel, it will open up and take the spines and skin off with it, leaving you with a perfectly cooked Sunday roast.
So an old traveller friend once told me anyway. Have yet to try it meself.
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Incidentally, I once had a flatmate (no hedgehog jokes please) who had grown up on a smallholding-type farm in Fife. Apparently when he was about 4 or 5 he begged his mum to let him have a guinea pig. Eventually she relented.
After a few weeks young Billy asked his mother 'Mum, when can we eat the guinea pig?' His mum replied 'What? Don't be silly, you don't eat guinea pigs.' Whereupon Billy thought hard for a minute before asking:
'But what's the point of having them then?'
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Somewhere else today (The Independent?) there was a story that all the olde-timey households had hedgehogs indoors, because they ate cockroaches (with which, apparently, all olde-timey households were infested). There was even a quote from an olde-timey story with olde-timey spelling, about the hedgehog burrowing under the carpet and the crunching noises coming from eating its delicious meal.
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Hedgehogs like rabbits and small birds such as pigeon and quail are best dealt with by cutting or clipping off the head and feet, slitting the skin along the breast bone,and then skinning by running your thumbs either side of the breast bone while lifting the rest of the skin by pushing the fingers between the skin and ribs and working towards the rear of the creature. All of the feathers,spines or fur is now left on the inside of a bag of skin.
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All small game [in my humble opinion] is best seared to seal and then casseroled very slowly with what ever veg comes to hand.... on no account flavour with wine. all the alcohol is boiled off. just drink the stuff.
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A Croat bloke I worked with said the way they made on the encampment near his town was, yes, to roll it in clay and bake it on the fire, but then after the clay was broken to cut up the hedgehog (the spikes come out in the clay) and throw it in a paprika-type tomato and pepper sauce.
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If we've learned anything from the Flinstones, it's that hedgehogs are best used as scrub brushes.
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Wild hedgehogs are often favoured by gardeners because they eat slugs and other garden pests.
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I have a recipe for cormorant, anyone interested in trying that, it only takes 2 months to prepare. May end up tasting slightly fishy. Anyone?
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im a traveler meself but never eaten a hotchi but my dad has eate and killed thousands of em he's 73 and grew up on em ,,,, to be quite truthfull with ya cooking them in clay is the biggest load of bullshit ever said it was proberly told as a joke to someone and its spread from there........ first of all when you get yer hedgehog you tap him on the nose to kill him with the back of ya dagger.. then you hold him by by back legs and stand on his front feet and pull him tight working with a sharp knife shave the bristles downwards to his nose,, when youve got off al the bristles you can with the knife you then hold him over a flame turning him gently around and over to singe off any remaining bristle and hair,, whilst dooin this the hedgehogs back will swell up to almost double its size and the whole thing will turn black and look like a bowler hat,,,, now starting at the front of the nose gently tap into the bone a with a dagger and use something blunt and heavy to tap with.the hedgehog has a bone that runs from its nose to its tailtap the dagger all the way through the to the tail end,, once youve done this now your ready to gut it,,you gut through the back taking great care not to bust the gall bladder which looks like little blue ball my dad said if the gall bladder was busted due to the flaming they would throw it away cos it would make you bad,,,, now wash it out and cook in a tray like any other meat,,,,,,,,, p.s hedgehog fat will never set it always stays liquidy and dogs wont touch the leftovers ..... i hope thats cleared the subject up for anyone
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ROAST hedgehog was once as popular a dish in Britain as roast beef is now, research by Welsh academics suggests today.
Researchers from Uwic have found that roasting hedgehogs was very common in Neolithic Britain (about 6,000BC).
Researchers found the recipes for roasting hedgehog stipulated that the hedgehog should be killed and gutted, seasoned, pressed in a towel until dry, then either encased in clay or wrapped in grasses.
The meat should then be roasted and served with cameline sauce, or in pastry with wild duck sauce. But today’s chefs say it wouldn’t sell very well in restaurants these days.
Penny Lewis, who has prepared dinner parties for the Queen and runs the Culinary Cottage Cookery School, near Abergavenny, said, “Only the very rich would have had their own cattle, so most people would have eaten whatever they could catch.
“So roast hedgehog would have been the roast beef of ancient times.
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Last edited by LarryG; 6th Jul 2012 at 16:47.
I feel a gulf of understanding between yourself and me that may never be breached, LarryG.
... actually, do you breach a gulf or cross it? Shit.
I think if you breach a gulf, you have opened it up to empty someplace else ...
It's just the 'But what's the point of having them then?' attitude and hedgehogs and discussion of culinary preparations combined into matter-of-fact postings that made me weak. I'll try not to do it again. You don't want to know what I was really looking for when I ran across [unapologetic pun intended] these discussions on roadkill harvesting and hedgehog preparations. They even brought the Queen into it, so how could I resist, weak mortal that I am?
What's going on in here? What is the meaning of this?
Free hairbrush with every meal!
I'm just listening to an item on BBC Breakfast at the moment about how the number of hedgehogs has fallen dramatically. I guess we know who to blame.
Did somebody say badgers?