Peckish? Put away a possum pie

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The Independent Online

Despite their cute image, possums are a pest in New Zealand, where 70 million of them wreak havoc among the native wildlife and vegetation. Now a café has come up with a novel way of addressing the problem: possum pie.

Despite their cute image, possums are a pest in New Zealand, where 70 million of them wreak havoc among the native wildlife and vegetation. Now a café has come up with a novel way of addressing the problem: possum pie.

The Zest delicatessen and café in Nelson, on the North Island, has added Pete's Possum Pies to its menu and patrons are enthusiastic. The owner, Chere Harris, said the pies had been snapped up since going on sale 10 days ago. Ms Harris admitted that she had not sampled them herself, but said she had been assured by one of her staff that the pies were premium-grade. The only deterrent, she said, was their association with the bloodied furry corpses that litter New Zealand's highways, the victims of speeding cars.

She attributed the rush on pies to "the novelty factor", but added: "I think once people get past the road-kill thing, I'm going to be re-ordering." The pies are made by Peter and Justine Salter, who sell other "road-kill" products, including "Bambi Burgers", "Headlight Delights" and "Guess that Mess".

Mr Salter said some people reported that possum tasted a bit like chicken, while others compared it with mutton, wild duck and guinea pig. The possum, an Australian native, is ubiquitous in New Zealand. The meat used in the pies is checked by government supervisors.

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