Black Bear - It's What's for Dinner

If you've always wanted a chance to try out the meat of the mighty black bear, tomorrow, Thursday, is your chance. The first 30 culinary adventurers to make a reservation at Charivari for the three-course, $35 meal will get a chance to sample bear meatball soup Transylvanian style; bear Tokany, a Hungarian stew; and a cleverly themed cobbler made with a German honey-flavored liqueur called Baerenjaeger, which translates to "bear hunter."

The black bear has long been hunted in the United States and Canada for both its fur and meat. The Kutchin (also known as Gwich'in), a Native American tribe in Alaska and Canada, has been hunting the black bear for centuries as a source of protein. Along with native people and European settlers, one man pretty important to American history, who you might know as Teddy Roosevelt, was quite fond of hunting these majestic, if intimidating, animals for the thrill as well as the meat - although our guess lies with the former more than the latter. He compared the taste and texture of the meat to pork.

From the recipes available online, it seems the popularity of bear hunting and bear meat did not die with our former president. If you're lucky enough to kill a black bear or know a big game hunter who's willing to share, here are a few recipes to make your own black bear feast - just make sure you cook the meat thoroughly, as they can carry a potentially dangerous parasite known as trichinella.

Bear Stew - courtesy of Allrecipes.com Black Bear Chili - courtesy of PepperFool.com Black Bear Roast - courtesy of FourPoundsFlour.com (a super-awesome blog with even more information about the history of bear meat in America)

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