If you can't save 'em, eat 'em.
That what's one Vermont hotel has in mind for those unlucky creatures who comprise the state's yearly roadkill body count.
The Hotel Vermont in Burlington is planning a $75 meat-lovers feast on November 7 that will serve up bear, moose, beaver, muskrat and deer that have been killed in roadside accidents or seized by state authorities from illegal poachers. The haul will also include a number of animals legally hunted as well as walleye and trout donated by a conservation organization.
"Its actually a really old Vermont tradition," Cameron Keitel, the hotel's food and beverage manager, told Mic. "Game dinners were typically put on by community groups, like churches or granges or community organizations. They were used to feed everyone in the community."
And, though few would equate hitting a deer with striking gold, a buck can provide a fleshy bounty. "One deer can feed a lot of people. I think we have at least one deer coming to this dinner," said Keitel.
Inventory, however, remains in flux, as it is impossible to say for sure if drivers or poachers will provide an ample reserve.
While it may seem novel, eating roadkill is as American as apple pie — at least in some areas. Supporters of roadkill cuisine include Sandor Ellix Katz, author of The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved: Inside America's Underground Food Movements, and the Montana state legislature, which allows drivers to eat their roadkill within 24 hours of the accident. Local roadkill is also a staple ingredient of the Appalachian favorite Kentucky Burgoo stew and — let's be honest — is probably being eaten somewhere in Brooklyn right now.
For Hotel Vermont Executive Chef Doug Paine, the feast is an opportunity for patrons to expand their culinary horizons. "I'm sure 90% of Vermonters haven't tried beaver," he told NBC-affiliate WPTZ. "But I'm sure they would like it if they did."
I bet they would, Doug. I bet they would.