These little animals are often found in great numbers, in the beech and oak-woods of Canada, and are considered very delicate food; being free from any strong flavour. They are roasted like rabbits, or cut in pieces and fried, fricasseed, or made into stews or pies. Some people object to them, simply because they have not been accustomed to see them brought to table, or even to hear of their being used as an article of food, and others consider them as insipid. This last objection is, perhaps, the most weighty; but by seasoning them well, it may be overcome. Nothing can be more cleanly than the habits of these little creatures; their food consisting entirely of grain, or fruits, or vegetables. When fresh meat is scarce, as it often is in the woods, the black or even the red squirrel may be eaten, as a wholesome change of diet.
Catherine Parr Traill, The Canadian Settler's Guide, NCL edition, page 159.