Uncategorized November 24, 2021

Puget Sound Market Update 11/24/21


Since Thanksgiving is upon us, I thought we could all benefit from a short break in economic and real estate news. Instead, I’d like to relay an article I stumbled upon that just might yield fun table conversation in lieu of a heated political debate.

Once the inevitable conversation of how expensive Thanksgiving groceries were this year has moved on, now would be the prime time to mention how turkey and ham can easily be substituted for your tasty and not-so-friendly neighborhood raccoon!

After a few strange looks, you can re-affirm your claim that raccoon for Thanksgiving was fit for a president just 100 years ago!

Initially, raccoon and other small game was a staple of Native Americans, early American settlers, and enslaved individuals in the American South.

Raccoon remained popular as an essential food for settlers moving West, as well as poor rural folk living across the country.

The meat was so prevalent that Mark Twain included it on a famous list of American foods he missed while traveling in Europe during the 1870s.

By the turn of the 20th century, raccoon, and other small game, had become so popular that they were sold in city game markets and featured on the menus of many urban restaurants.

As recent as the 1920s, a craze for raccoon fur coats led to a boom in raccoon trapping and hunting making raccoon meat even more readily available.

Now, to tie this back to the beginning of this article…

In November 1926, President Calvin Coolidge was sent an “unsolicited plump raccoon” for his Thanksgiving dinner. While this was an unremarkable event at the time, what was remarkable about it was that the Coolidges decided to let the critter that tastes like “…a combination of chicken and and suckling pig” live. The Coolidges kept the raccoon as a pet (see picture above) and named it Rebecca.

As meat produced in factory farms became cheaper and more widely available Americans’ appetite for raccoon and small game began to diminish. Over the ensuing decades, the perception of these “trash pandas” shifted – gaining a reputation as mischievous nighttime pests rather than delectable delicacies.

While I haven’t spotted any raccoon in any local super markets, you can find it for sale from your local hunter/trapper or at the Soulard Market in St. Louis.

Happy Thanksgiving!