Prompted by the current threads “Is fish ‘meat’ ?” (Cafe Society), and “Japanese Whaling” (Great Debates) – not wishing to hijack either of those, am starting a new thread. It is suggested in the “Japanese Whaling” thread, that the continuing taking of whales by Japan, stems from essentially “political” factors: that Japan has no long-standing tradition of eating whale meat – and according to one poster there, “Most Japanese people don’t even like whale, it’s foul and tasteless”.
Another poster there, claims that eating of whale in Japan came about as an emergency measure in the times of shortage, of World War II and after. A similar situation obtained in that era, in the UK: whale meat was available as a substitute for more-favoured sources of protein in short supply in those hard years. In the main, people didn’t like it – “foul and tasteless” perhaps too harsh a description; but British folk likened it to low-grade, fishy-tasting beef, and gladly forsook it when conditions improved: it didn’t catch on even as a minority taste. The thread which I cite below mentions wartime attempts to the same end, in the USA – which came to nothing. Whale meat seems to be a very hard sell to most of the world’s peoples.
Discussion in these threads has made me curious about whale meat, and wishful to try it. Using the board’s “search” function did not turn up much to satisfy this curiosity: though there was the brief thread from last year, “Question about 1950s Britain”, as below.
Googling “whale recipes” yielded a number of hits – some mickey-taking, some serious: the serious ones mostly expressing ethical reservations, and emphasising “if you can get the stuff”. Serious whale-cooking suggestions would appear to agree on the desirability of “heavy-duty” tenderising or marinating. A post in the “1950s Britain” thread concurs – opining that whale meat can be made palatable, but “you need some serious marinade”.
I get the picture that I’d have little chance, in the UK, of obtaining whale meat for cooking experiments with same. Would be interested to hear, from anyone who has sampled whale meat, their reactions / opinions concerning it.