So while you may have heard Gov. Sarah Palin raving about moose burgers, moose hot dogs, moose chili, and delicious moose stew, finding moose meat on a restaurant menu is nearly impossible. Just ask the folks at the Lobby Bar at the Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C., who wanted to add moose burgers to zest up the bar's menu for election season. "We scoured the country," says Colleen Evans, the director of public relations for Marriott International, which owns the Ritz-Carlton. "We went to all the exotic meat purveyors, and they said it's illegal to sell moose meat."
That's because wild game cannot be sold, even if it's legally hunted. It can, however, be harvested for personal consumption, which is why the Palins are able to have a freezer full of moose that they hunted but you, the everyday consumer, can't buy any. "If you simply go out wherever you live and hunt, you can't shoot it and dress it on its own and sell it to a restaurant," explains Amanda Eamich, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service. "In order to sell meat products into commerce in the United States, you have to be federally, or in some case, state, inspected."
That means that anyone wanting to try wild game who doesn't hunt or know any hunters has to buy farm-raised. And there aren't moose farms. But they do farm something close: "So a cousin of moose is elk," Evans told Whispers. "Just like the other white meat, it's the other moose meat." The Lobby Bar is serving elk sliders until after the election. And Executive Chef David Serus, who is pictured above with his eats, tells us that when eating game, it's always good to accompany it with a sweet sauce, so he includes some cranberry Dijonnaise with his miniburgers.
Of course, to add balance to the menu, he also created a miniature chicken pot pie, a favorite of the other veep candidate, Sen. Joe Biden.