One man’s trash is another man’s dinner.
That’s the reality for roadkill eater Arthur Boyt. The 74-year-old Briton is known to scoop up dead animals, including dogs, cats and mice, and take them home to gut and cook, Agence France-Press reports.
"I've eaten stuff which is dark green and stinks -- it does appear that if you cook it well, its rottenness does not hinder one's enjoyment of the animal," Boyt told the AFP. "It's not in the taste of the food; it's in the head. It's a threshold you have to step over if you're going to eat this kind of stuff. You say 'OK, this is just meat.'"
Boyt has maintained his roadkill diet since the 1960s. The retired researcher says most people would enjoy his dishes, including badger stew, if they tried them. "People say 'oooh, do you really?' when I say I'm having roadkill. I say 'well, if you tried it, you would probably enjoy it'," Boyt said.
His favorite dish is dog, Boyt said. He has eaten three that were struck by cars and compares their flavor to lamb, adding, "I'd drink a red wine with it - possibly a Chianti."
Boyt admits that there are certain trade secrets to his unorthodox style of cooking. “The flesh smells, but you can overcome that by putting the body into running water for four days and that will remove that musky tang from the meat,” Boyt told Vice.
Boyt said his taste for roadkill stemmed from a time where he would collect the dead pheasants and bring them home to be skinned and stuffed. “Instead of throwing the body away I decided to start eating it,” he said.
His appetite for roadkill comes at a potentially dangerous time, The Mirror reports. In a controversial policy to stop the spread of tuberculosis to cattle, the British government enacted a cull to kill badgers that have been known to spread the disease.
But Boyt, whose recipe for badger stew involves leaving the head intact, coating the body with flour, herbs and braising it for five hours, says he has never gotten sick from his roadkill delicacies.
"I've eaten badger for 55 years and I certainly haven't got tuberculosis. As with all meat, you just make sure you cook it long and hot enough to kill any bugs,” he told The Mirror. "Badgers are fully edible, and their meat could be used to feed the hungry rather than being chucked in a furnace. I can't see any point in that."