Baggins

Dreams, Schemes & Themes

Here's to Maniacs, Visionaries & Wide- Eyed Dreamers

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WELCOME TO THE ROADKILL CAFE
Baggins
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ROADKILL CAFÉ

 

Don’t touch that brake, don’t turn that wheel

The life you save could be our next meal.

Four-legged critters make tasty dinners,

When something splatters, we’ll make a platter

 

At the Roadkill Café

We’ll do it up your way

We’ll cook it fresh from your grill to ours,

Just scrape it off the tire and we’ll toss it on the fire

Come chew the fat at the Roadkill Café

 

A gentle swerve makes squirrel hors d’oeuvres

You just can’t beat-a fresh raccoon pita

That mangled Chevy parked by the door

Meant Bambi Parmesan for thirty-four

 

We love it when you run down our menu,

Come chew the fat at the Roadkill Café.

 

                                                                                   Song by John Flynn


                                                             

                                                                                  ARTHUR BOYT


Forgive me, this post started off as something completely different, supposedly about the Svalbard Global Seed Vault and scientists that starved to death in St Petersburg during the Second World War rather than eat the seeds from their special seed bank.  

Unfortunately I got waylaid and mugged along the way by an old newspaper cutting that I pasted into my diary in 2006. It’s about Arthur Boyt, a character that squarely reside amongst the visionaries, maniacs and wild-eyed dreamers who wander round this blog at times.

 Arthur eats roadkill which is organic living in its extremist form. This is the original article:  
 

MENU ON THE MOTORWAY

You need a strong stomach to have dinner with Arthur Boyt: he eats roadkill

Dishes likely to be served from his kitchen are casseroles from squashed badger, hedgehog, otter, rat, rabbit, or pheasant and he is even compiling a roadkill cookery book.

Boyt, 66, has also tucked into a Labrador, “which was just like a nice piece of lamb”, cats, a great horseshoe bat, squirrels, foxes, mice, deer, pigeon and carrion. He once bought home a dead porcupine from a holiday in Canada.

 Boyt started collecting roadkill as a teenager. For the past 50 years he has regularly eaten animals run over by cars and lorries near his home in Cornwall.

 He said; “Everything I eat is natural, wild and fully organic. Cat, though, is a bit bland and it’s not my favourite.”

                                                                     
                                          -           “The Sunday Times” 5 February 2006


The internet is a wonderful thing. I trawled through the wide blue nowhere to find out whether Arthur ever published his roadkill cookery book as us Michelin Star cooks are always on the lookout for new recipes to experiment with.

I couldn’t find the book but some very interesting posts about Arthur and his mates that live on an unforgiving expanse of moorland in North-East Cornwall.

 Welcome to Bodmin Moor, home to some of the most peculiar men you ever hope to meet; isolated oddballs and eccentrics who are both at odds and at one with their environment. There is the self-appointed guardian of the moor, Clifford Kempthorn, who also is on the lookout for dead animals. Standing atop a rocky promontory, Clifford surveys the landscape (and gets in some tai chi practice while he's at it) for signs of the legendary Beast of Bodmin Moor.

 "I wander around on the moor and I know a thing or two about tracking," says Clifford, who spends up to ten hours a day (unpaid) patrolling the moor in search of what he believes is a panther. (Yeah right, a Panther in Cornwall, I shit you not.  Someone has been smokin’ something seriously suspect)

But back to Arthur. For most, a squashed hedgehog or flattened badger lying on the side of the road is a tragic sight – for him it is an opportunity for a free, tasty and nutritious meal.  Mr. Boyt’s favourite snack is a badger sandwich and he’s ready to share the secrets of his curious culinary success with a wider audience. Apparently he has been approached by Gordon Ramsay's people and may cook with the celebrity chef at some stage. (Oh Fuck)

Arhur insists that roadkill is not a health threat if properly butchered and cooked. He said: "It's good meat for free and I know nobody has been messing with it and feeding it with hormones.” His argument is that people don't turn up their nose at an apple which falls out of a tree - so why should they recoil at the idea of meat which they chance upon?

He said: "If the animal has been dead a while and has gone green the taste is a bit bland, but if you cook them thoroughly, you can still eat it. I've been doing it all my life and never been ill once." Mr. Boyt, who has a degree in biology, cooks the meat at a high temperature for a long time, ensuring it is safe to eat.

"I know nobody has been messing with it and feeding it with hormones and growth accelerants and so on. It's just natural, fully organic meat."

When one considers the filth in which most battery chickens are kept, compared to the state of a wild animal roaming as it chooses, it seems that they may be something to Mr. Boyt's argument.

Whenever he finds an animal lying by the side of the road, dead after being hit by a car, ("I generally don't take carcasses that are really squashed," ) he takes it home to cook, or perhaps store in his freezer for future consumption. Arthur's large freezer is full of rare delicacies.

The question that will spring to most people's minds on hearing this is, naturally: why? In a society where food of all kinds, especially meat, is so plentiful, why commit the unsavoury act of scraping a carcass off a street? Arthur's answer is simple: far from scavenging for dirty, diseased meat, he is taking advantage of recently killed, clean, 100% organic, free produce.

I also stumbled on a certain gentleman named Fergus Drennan in my quest to find out more about the Roadkill Café experience.  Fergus is supposedly known as the Roadkill Chef in Europe. He is a self proclaimed vegetarian that only eats meat if it has been killed on the road by someone else.

The law prohibits him, and anyone else for that matter, from taking out wild animals with automobiles, collecting them and eating them. However, the law does allow people to collect animals that have been hit by someone else and eat them.

Fergus Drennan is what is known as a forager, someone who roams the land collecting dead carcasses for consumption. He has supplied chefs with road kill ingredients for restaurants like London's The Ivy and Jamie Oliver's Fifteen.

Drennan says his favorite roadside dish consists of roast pheasant with Chinese dumplings, wild veggies with seasoned vinegar, soy sauce and garlic.
 
Oh yes, after an exhausting search I finally found a recipe of Boyt which sounds good enough to try.




Hedgehog spaghetti carbonara (serves four)

500g spaghetti, 30ml olive oil, 250g lean hedgehog, 1 medium onion (chopped), 125ml water, 60ml dry white wine, 4 eggs, 60ml double cream, 100g grated parmesan cheese

· chop hedgehog into small chunks

· beat eggs and cream together in a bowl. Add half the Parmesan cheese

· put pasta in boiling water

· put onions and hedgehog chunks in pan with olive oil on medium heat until onions are almost clear

· add wine and reduce heat

· drain pasta when cooked, combine it with egg, cream and cheese mix

· add meat, onions and wine without draining fat and mix thoroughly

· garnish with remaining Parmesan. Serve immediately


This apparently is all true, and not from Ripley’s “Believe It Or Not” Google it and see.

Here’s to some weird visionaries whose eating habits makes sense in a strange way. 

And finally, Neil Diamond, wrote a song years ago “Porcupine Pie”. I googled the lyrics thinking that there was a scrumptious hidden recipe in the words. Unfortunately not.

I also though that Diamond was dead. He’s not. He only looks dead because of all the facelifts he had. Keith Richards also looks dead, but that’s because of all the hard living and boozing. It is painfully obvious that Keith never had a facelift, I think he’s been embalmed in alcohol.

Why I mention Keef is that he had an on-off relationship with Uschi Obermaier and because Keef looks like roadkill at the best of times.



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