Did We Mention, for the Main Course, a Nice Braised Shank of Free-Range Possum?

The South’s true country cuisine rises again.

  1. "What we have here is a radial pattern of wild meats," Jeff Jackson says, pointing his spatula at a cast-iron skillet. Four small mounds of mangled protein, each a different shade and texture, lie in a perfect parabola, like tissue samples from a crime lab. "First you'll eat them," Jackson says. "Then I'll tell you what they are." Lifting my fork, I probe a mushroom cap brimming with a gray, speckled, liverish substance. To my right, Jackson's wife, Phyllis, picks at her salad and watches. "Back before we were married, we spent a whole summer living off roadkill," she says. "I remember one time, we ate a mink. That was one tough little animal. Can't say I liked the taste, either. There was this urine flavor, like the kidneys hadn't filtered out all the impurities." Jeff settles into the chair across from me. "Leeches were disappointing too," he sighs. "Tasted just like the marinade. Didn't have any leech flavor at all."

    Glancing up at their expectant faces, I feel a wave of peer pres...

The complete text of “Did We Mention, for the Main Course, a Nice Braised Shank of Free-Range Possum?” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on www.outsideonline.com.

Originally published in Outside, July 2001

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