The oceans are a rich and bountiful source of food. Scrumptious seafood that most of us are familiar with fills the dinner bowls of people of every culture. Even in the most remote regions like the frozen Chukchi Peninsula of northeastern Siberia an Eskimo dinner could consist of whale, seals or other sea mammals.
The earth supplies, and we gratefully partake. Other ocean bearing delicacies that are usually not common fare, but not unheard of are the topic of this article today. Some are reportedly delicious, while others are an acquired taste. From moving Kitchener to around the world, I was privy to experiencing the preferred ocean cuisine of many different countries.
Recalling the first time I saw squid on a stick while traveling Japan, my reaction was not to dart toward the vendor cart and slap down my yen. In fact, I passed altogether. Squid is one of the least unsettling foods found on a stick that ain’t chicken, but for me maybe it was a mood food, and at the time I wasn’t in the mood. By the way, my spouse loves squid – especially barbecued, and wouldn’t have hesitated for a minute to buy the guy out.
More strange, but supposedly tasty, seafood includes:
Goeduck aka Goeyduck
This unusual animal is a rather large bivalve mollusks found in the northwest waters off the coast of Washington State in the Puget Sound. They are also harvested north, in the waters off of British Columbia. This clam has an unique appearance sometimes measuring up to fifteen pounds and over two feet in length. It’s sells for $150 a pound to the Chinese, who consider it a delicacy. While reportedly delicious when prepared properly, the Asian foodie loves to consume sea creatures that the western palette is generally willing to forego.
It is also referred to as the elephant-trunk clam in Asia because of it’s long appendage termed a siphon that protrudes from the shell. The appendage or siphon is treasured for its crunchy quality, and its added savory flavor is used in stews, sauces or is featured as a main course like for a fondue. Besides its phallic appearance, the meat of the siphon is considered an aphrodisiac since it contains high levels of amino acids that trigger sex hormones. It also has high counts of zinc which aids in the production of testosterone. This prized sea creature has an adoring fan base that knows for sure it – ain’t chicken.
Who doesn’t like a little caviar from time to time? Well have you ever tried Shirako or more commonly called fish milt. It would be the male equivalent to caviar. Since caviar is the fish egg found in the female it may be considered feminine, while fish milt, Shirako is the sperm sac of a male. It can be harvested from any number of different kinds of fish.
It is most favored in Japan, and can be steamed, pan fried or deep fried. It does have a creamy, custard-like texture, and a distinctly fishy taste. Try it at your own risk, since it relies a lot on the seasoning. but when prepared by a skilled cook it’s quite yummy. My recommendation is to eat it without any discussion to the fact that it ain’t chicken.
Whale Bone Beer
You read that right. Humans will make alcohol out of anything that can be put into a still and be fermented. Aren’t we clever – or desperate, I’m not sure which. Iceland is only one of two countries that still fish for whale. It is hugely unpopular internationally, and Iceland has reduced its hunts significantly. Last year an Icelandic micro-brewer ran a limited-run brew of whale bone beer for the winter festival of Porrablot. Boasting a smoked caramel taste with whale meat undertones, apparently it wasn’t the biggest hit of the party. Since it was made from the bone meal of the endangered fin whale, environmentalist are relieved that it didn’t catch on. Needless to say if anyone tried to make beer out of chicken, one could safely say it ain’t whale.
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