Dogs, cats and badgers all on menu for roadkill veteran Arthur Boyt

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 October, 2013, 10:39am


Take one dead badger, head and all, dust with flour and herbs, season and braise for five hours - that's the recipe for a perfect stew, according to British roadkill eater Arthur Boyt.

Boyt insists there is nothing tastier than scooping up a dead animal - be it dog, cat, polecat or mouse - from the roadside and taking it back to his remote home in Cornwall, southwest England, to skin, gut and cook.

Boyt, 74, a nature obsessive whose house is dotted with animal skulls and taxidermy, has been eating roadkill since the 1960s and thinks more people should do the same.

"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 as a batch of badger stew bubbled away in his kitchen.

"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."

Video: Badger stew is gourmet dining for British roadkill fan

The retired researcher's favourite dish is dog - he has eaten two lurchers and a labrador which were hit by cars. He insisted he tried to find the owners before eating them.

Boyt compared the "smooth, round, sweet" flavour of dog meat to lamb, adding: "I'd drink a red wine with it - possibly a Chianti."

Dog may be his special treat, but the chest freezer in his outhouse is filled with everything from buzzards to snake-like slow worms.

He said he had no qualms about eating rotting meat, claiming to have cooked badgers which had been dead for two weeks and picking off maggots while preparing meat for the pot.

"I have never been ill from eating roadkill," he said. "People have been here for a meal and been sick when they got home - but I'm sure that was something else."

Eating wild animals found dead in the road is usually legal in England as long as the animals have been run over accidentally.

He recently invited an acquaintance to share the meal - 17-year-old Daniel Greenaway, who said he was looking forward to his first taste of roadkill.

Boyt ladled out the badger's head for himself, serving his companion some less recognisable parts. Greenaway tucked in nervously before declaring that the food "ain't bad".

Meanwhile, Boyt delighted in cuts not usually noted as delicacies. "Here is the first of the salivary glands - mmmm!"