Wednesday, January 23, 2013

If you’ve ever watched The Beverly Hillbillies, you’ll probably remember that Granny’s preferred dish was possum. Grits and possum were the family favorite. The audience snickered when some poor person was invited to dinner at the Beverly Hillbilly mansion. We all knew he would be served possum.

Granny’s grits and possum made for laughs, but the truth is, possum was a staple in the diets of poor, southeastern families in the 19th century. Women used opossum fat to help chapped skin. Opossum oil (possum grease) is high in essential fatty acids. It was also used as a chest rub and a carrier for remedies given as topical salves.

William Howard Taft enjoyed eating possum. When he succeeded President Teddy Roosevelt as president, a stuffed toy possum was made with the slogan “Good-by, Teddy Bear. Hello, Billy Possum.”

The live possums I've seen look like gigantic, moth-eaten rats. They’re scavengers that often clean up what other predators, including humans, leave behind.

Playing Possum
The old saying “playing possum” refers to the animal’s ability to lapse into a coma-like state when frightened. This is an unconscious action by the possum, rather like fainting. The coma state can last up to four hours during which time the possum looks dead. It also smells dead due to a foul fluid excreted from its back end.

Possums are the only marsupial in the United States. At first they were only found in the East, but during the depression, they were introduced into the West during the Great Depression, probably as a source of food

So, just in case some nice family member or neighbor pops in to visit with a possum carcass in hand, you'll be prepared. You have some fun facts to share while you're cooking a possum recipe from one of these handy websites.


  1. Oh my goodness...I couldn't help it. I went to the websites to check out what kind of recipes there could possibly be for possum! LOL! Thank pictures.


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