Davy Crockett never made it to California, but you can bet that if he had, he’d have eaten a raccoon or two along the way. Back in the old days, in California and beyond, both Native Americans and frontier settlers all hunted and ate the medium-sized mammal – and wore those 'coon-skin caps and raccoon-fur coats, too. There was even reportedly a recipe for cooking raccoon in the original 1936 version of The Joy of Cooking as well, proving that Americans have been eating the mostly dark-meat animal for generations.
But these days, raccoon meat isn’t too easy to come by, unless you hunt it down yourself or, until a few days ago, knew about the Metro Supermarket in Temple City, which is under investigation for selling the frozen animal at its store. That Asian-specialty market has apparently been selling whole frozen raccoons for years, according to what store employees told KCAL/CBS on February 10, but when customer Christina Dow spotted some of the critters in the frozen-food section the other day, all hell broke loose.
She shot a video of the dead animals in bags, complete with her expletive-filled, horrified commentary, loosed it on social media and called the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to complain.
As a result, inspectors went into the Metro Supermarket on February 10 to investigate; and while the market has removed the raccoons from their freezers, Public Health released this statement:
“In general, a raccoon would be considered a game animal under the California Health and Safety Code and could be sold, as long as it is from an ‘approved source’ and not listed as an endangered or threatened animal by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).”
And yes, the CDFW has gotten involved, too, as the statement continues, “the department is closely working with CDFW. This is an active investigation and until the investigation is over, Public Health will not be able to release details.”
Until then, Metro Supermarket, in the 4800 block of Temple City Boulevard will no longer be stocking the raccoons in their freezers. The raccoons were priced at $9.99 per pound, and at an average of five pounds, were priced around $50 each.
Don’t be surprised to see these prices to go up if the County Department of Public Health gives them the okay to stock the animals once again. After all, the free publicity this story has generated in the media, there’s bound to be a rush on raccoon meat.