Recipes for Cooking Domestic Rabbit Meat

During World War II, as the country faced meat rationing, the U.S. Government decided to promote rabbit meat as an alternative to beef and chicken. As part of this effort, the Department of the Interior released a pamphlet, "Recipes for Cooking Domestic Rabbit Meat". It included recipes such as "Rabbit Chop Suey," "Vagabond Stew," and "Wartime Rabbit Casserole". The pamphlet noted:

The growing scarcity of meat due to war conditions and the necessity of feeding our armed forces and our Allies makes it imperative that new sources of supply be developed. The domestic rabbit—easy to raise—is rapidly solving the meat problem in many American homes, and thus is playing an important part in the Food for Freedom program. Rabbit meat is not rationed.

Entrepreneur Martin French of Los Angeles must have had visions of the rabbit-meat market taking off. In 1940, he received trademark protection for "Bunnyburger" — his ground rabbit meat business.

I'd like to think that, in some alternative reality, the government's plan worked and it's possible to go into a McDonald's and order a McBunny with Cheese.
     Posted By: Alex - Thu Feb 18, 2021
     Category: Food | Cookbooks | 1940s

Raising and eating rabbits is all well and good until you have to explain to your 4-year-old why "having Flopsie for dinner" doesn't mean setting an extra place.
Posted by Phideaux on 02/18/21 at 11:51 AM
Good for the times you are out of nutria.
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 02/18/21 at 02:45 PM
Phideaux, my late mother told the story of a chicken that she considered a pet when she was maybe 5. One day she asked, "Where's Brownie?" The reply was, "In the soup."
Posted by ges on 02/18/21 at 06:45 PM
Why is this "weird?" Rabbit is just meat.
Posted by James on 02/20/21 at 12:34 PM
@James: quite right. And a good rabbit stew is a good stew. Ask the Belgians if you won't believe a Dutchman.

@Virtual: If only! Those @#&**ards are @#&*ing up the dikes around here. I live in the polders, and I'd happily eradicate the entire species, and the musk rat, too. If I have to eat them to get rid of them, I'm more than happy to get creative in the kitchen. Getting a decent new recipe out of it is only a bonus - though a very welcome one.

(Oh, and @Phideaux: that's Flappie, not Flopsie. But only a Dutchman will understand that reference.)
Posted by Richard Bos on 02/20/21 at 02:14 PM
Richard, now I know what a polder is. But I must have been thinking our word 'dyke', because we don't use the word 'dike' ('levee' instead). The meaning didn't fit well at all; I was having trouble with who was "@#&*ing up the dykes".

A friend had the original Nutria Cookbook, but I've lost touch with him. Here are plenty of nutria recipes at Cant Beat Em Eat

If I see rabbit on a restaurant's menu, I hop right on it.
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 02/21/21 at 12:08 PM
@Virtual -- It must be a regional thing. Where I grew up (north-central US Midwest), a dike was along a river to keep floodwaters out of the city, a levee was to constrain a river so it flowed faster and didn't silt up as bad, and dykes were only found in coffeeshops and retro-movie houses.
Posted by Phideaux on 02/21/21 at 08:31 PM
Dyke's the English spelling.
Posted by Richard Bos on 02/27/21 at 05:13 AM
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