This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
Is eaten by nearly all people where it can be obtained, although viewed with prejudice by many who meet with it for the first time. The meat is like pork, but darker; generally it is very fat. When objectionable eating it is the meat of an old animal. The best is the flesh of the bears which commit depredations in the cornfields of sparsely settled regions, where they grow very fat on corn and fruit. Young black and brown bears are preferable for meat, though the grizzly is eaten as well, but has a rank smell and flavor. The butcher in any western town can sell such bear meat as he may secure a third higher price than beef; and in the cities as a curiosity it brings a high figure. A bear weighing 450 lbs. was cut up in a London restaurant recently, and a trade journal says: "This fine specimen of the ursine family having found its way to the kitchen, the bill of fare duly announced Jambon a"ours a la Lithuanienne and Pattes d'ours (bear's paws) a la Muscovite. We dropped in for a slice of roast bear ham, and found it decidedly 'gamey,' but by no means unpalatable, the flavor somewhat resembling that of venison. Currant jelly, by the way, would have been a fitting accompanimcnt.
We have before us Christmas bills of fare of the Gait House, Louisville, and Lindell Hotel, St. Louis, and under the head of game we find roast cub hear with chestnut dressing' and ' saddle of Rocky Mountain bear with currant jelly '".