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what does skunk taste like

“Skunking” is the result of wavelengths of blue light (from sunlight or fluorescent bulbs) penetrating beer and causing isohumulones, a component of hop-bittering compounds, to react with hydrogen sulfide produced by yeast to make mercaptan. But you don’t really need to know that. What you do need to know is that mercaptan is the same chemical compound in skunk secretions, which is why we call this process skunking. The reaction can happen quickly; leave a glass of beer in strong sunlight for just a minute and you’ll already be able to taste it.

It’s safe to say that in general, beer packaged in green or clear bottles that’s been sitting on a supermarket shelf is likely to contain some level of skunking. My beloved Miller High Life (fight me) is an exception: It’s brewed with TetraHops, a modified hop extract from which isohumulones have been removed, making it resistant to skunking.
But the man’s complaint points to a larger question: Do we know what “skunked” beer tastes like?

Some beer packaging guards against sunlight’s ruinous effects. Cans are best at this, because they’re completely impenetrable by light. Brown bottles are the next best option; their color offers good, but not ironclad, defense against blue light waves. Clear and green glass is the worst option, as both allow blue light to enter a beer free as it pleases.
By now, you’re thinking: Alright Kate, I’ve read this far, what does skunking actually smell and taste like?
My esteemed colleague Allison Shoemaker recently came to me with a bewildering story: She was pouring beer as a volunteer at a charity event, and a drinker approached her to say he thought the beer she was pouring—an American-made version of a Czech pilsner—was skunked. She knew the kegs were fresh, and even upon sipping the beer herself again, she couldn’t detect the “skunkiness” of which the man complained.
It’s an odd term for one of beer’s most notorious off-flavors, since few of us have ever had the misfortune of really tasting skunk. And for a beer to present skunked aromas at a level comparable to a skunk’s smell, well, that would be quite a terrible feat of manufacturing.
Some people actually enjoy a bit of skunky flavor in their beers, though I wouldn’t count many beer judges among their ranks. Heineken, one of the few breweries that still packages in green bottles, has developed a fan following comprised of people who buy it specifically for the light skunkiness. And a minority of craft brewers have recently spoken up to say that a small amount of skunkiness in green-bottle saisons is actually quite true to the style’s origins, and is a desirable, necessary component of classic saisons. Okay, those exceptions aside, clear and green bottles are generally not doing your beer any favors.

Randy Mosher, in his seminal guide Tasting Beer, describes the perception of methyl or isopentyl mercaptan (skunking) as skunky or rubbery; the Cicerone program describes it as “musty, can be similar to burned rubber or cat musk.” I personally think it’s a combination of skunk smell and musty basement; a skunked beer is also often an oxidized beer, a process which creates flavors of wet cardboard or paper in beer.

My esteemed colleague Allison Shoemaker recently came to me with a bewildering story: She was pouring beer as a volunteer at a charity event, and a drinker approached her to say he thought the beer she was pouring—an American-made version of a Czech pilsner—was skunked. She knew the kegs were fresh, and even upon sipping the beer herself again, she couldn’t detect the “skunkiness” of which the man complained.

Opossum, Otter, Raccoon, Skunk, Woodchuck, Fox, etc.

We cannot say that we have had much experience in cooking the above, but all these animals are eaten by many persons in different parts of this and other countries. We have eaten of all of them except the raccoon, and we must say that we found them good.
It is well known that when our soldiers retook possession of Ship Island, they found plenty of raccoons on it, and ate all they could catch. One day we happened to meet a sub-officer who was there at the time, and enquired of him about it. He said he had never eaten any raccoons before, and did not know that they were eatable; but now he would eat them as readily as rabbits, as they were quite as good.
We thought at first that he was joking; but putting his gun and game bag to the ground, he looked at us earnestly and said, “Gentlemen, you seem to doubt; I will show you how it is done.” We soon saw that we had been mistaken.

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Here is one historic record of skunk eating from a book called “What to Eat, and how to Cook It (New York 1863) by Pierre Blot:
https://www.loc.gov/resource/rbc0001.
Full Skunk Cleaning for Eating (Very Graphic) contains full skinning, gutting and de-glanding process): .
In this part, we show in detail how to really prepare skunk for eating. This is very likely the only living proof that skunk can be made edible, putting Jeremy and I in a very unique club consisting of most likely a handful of people who have ever eaten and ENTIRE SKUNK!
Skunk is the ultimate survival food because no one else will know how to eat it but you. Even Bear Grylls who drinks his own urine and will shove stuff up his butt to get hydrated couldn’t do it.

Jeremy (One Wildcrafter) also demonstrates a technique for getting rid of skunk smell using a common and natural household product.

This is the FIRST time in history that skunk has been SHOWN to be EDIBLE! Other historical records mention it, but none have shown the exact process! We're m…