SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Tastes like chicken? It’s hard to say because it’s unlikely that many, or anyone, in this day and age has eaten a mammoth. The animal has been extinct for thousands of years.
Although there are rumors, or maybe myths, that people ate frozen mammoth meat in the early 20th Century.
A mammoth banquet was supposedly prepared in 1901 in St. Petersburg, Russia. A mammoth frozen for 20,000 years was apparently served at the banquet.
One record says of the banquet “particularly the course of mammoth steak, which all the learned guests declared was agreeable to the taste, and not much tougher than some of the sirloin furnished by butchers of today.”
In 1912, James Oliver Curwood apparently served a frozen mammoth in which he said the “flesh was of a deep red mahogany color…”
He described the flavor as “old not unpleasant but simply old and dry.”
And even recently, frozen raw meat has gotten attention.
In the 2018 documentary, “Genesis 2.0” an explorer chews raw Ice Age meat on camera.
It’s not possible to eat a statue of a mammoth like the one on the campus of Augustana University.
But scientists have said the mammoth was eaten by early humans, including on the plains.
Nebraskastudies.org said Paleo Indians would drive mammoths over a cliff or muddy swamp area where it would be difficult for the animals to escape. The hunters used spears to kill the animals.
An excerpt from the book, “Lost Feast: Culinary Extinction and the Future of Food”, published by ScienceFriday.com, says humans likely used sharp stone knives and probably cut meat into chunks or strips to roast over or alongside the fire.
Since a mammoth could be as tall as 14 feet and weigh as much as 18,000 to 22,000
pounds, if several were killed, there may have been leftovers.
Although it may be well known, the Augustana mammoth isn’t the most famous in South Dakota.
The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs has multiple mammoths at its excavation site, which was discovered in 1974.
Frozen mammoth DNA has led to an effort to re-introduce the animal to the 21st Century.
“The ultimate goal of the Woolly Mammoth Revival is to bring back this extinct species so that healthy herds may one day re-populate vast tracts of tundra and boreal forest in Eurasia and North America,” the revive&restore.org website said.