We like to cook all sorts of things when getting together with friends and family, but the main ingredient in this story could be considered a bit...interesting.
Tamales, gumbo and stew are all dishes we've heard of -- but they were presented with a twist Sunday. The main ingredient? Squirrel.
Contestant Bud Bohall says, "It's what nature intended for people to eat."
It's the first-ever World Champion Squirrel Cook-Off and it happened in Northwest Arkansas.
"Well, basically we have a panel of five judges," says founder Joe Wilson, "and each team is judged on their side dish and on their entre. And the predominant meat for your dish has to be squirrel."
Twenty contestants set up in Bentonville to make their best and most original squirrel dishes.
Wilson says, "You actually have to chop and prepare all of your food right here on-site, so when squirrels come in, they're whole squirrels."
Lissa Brown, wife of one contestant, says, "They made bacon-wrapped squirrel wings and jalapeno squirrel poppers."
But the real question on some people's minds -- what does it taste like?
Bohall explains, "It has its own unique taste. It's got a little tougher texture than you're used to, probably, and a little gamier taste, but it's really good."
Founder Joe Wilson has been having squirrel cook-offs with his close friends for years -- until this year when the Travel Channel called.
Wilson says, "Well, believe it or not, the local visitors council has me down as the go-to redneck for weird stuff."
So, Andrew Zimmern with Bizarre Foods gave the event a taste.
"That's been very neat," Brown said, "to follow and watch him, and watch him try everything, too."
Bohall adds, "We don't get a lot of exposure like that around here, and it was pretty exciting to have him."
When all was said and done, there was a world champion.
They said, "We're world champions -- we're done! Feels great!"
The new world champions won with squirrel sliders.
As for the cook-off next year, Wilson says he hopes they'll have quite a few more competitors since the Travel Channel airs in 70 countries.