Food probably remains one of the most recognisable difference between cultures. Even though we can eat almost all kind of food everywhere, we are still referring to the origin of the dish. Japanese cuisine, French cuisine, Italian oder Brazilian, Russian or Chinese, Indian or Greek. The Restaurant already gives us a hint of what to find inside, by pointing out the area or region. It’s also true, that picked up dishes appear in many variations suiting their country.
Also I could come up with somehow very unpleasant experiences, when diving into the french cuisine (like andouillette, snails, foie gras) I ‘d rather share my experience about a delicacy that you will mainly find in Japan, Iceland, Norway, arctic parts fo Canada and Alaska – whale meat.
After a trip on an Exploration vessel, the whole crew ended up in Svalbard. An island north of Norway, that is inhabited by Norwegians, Russians (mainly scientists and former mine workers) and polar bears.
Whale hunting stays very controvert, especially when it comes to commercial whaling. So far, mainly indigenous people (as Inuit) or countries (Iceland, Greenland, Norway) are carrying out the old tradition of whale hunting, but the fighting goes on, whether or not the sanctuary should be lifted.
Nevertheless, the crew gathered in a restaurant and whale meat ordered. At that time, I wasn’t a big fan of creatures from the ocean, whether it was Octopus, or Shrimp, Oyster or Mussels. But just like all the other times, I couldn’t resist trying. Eating a mammal from the sea was very new for me, but I must confess I liked it. I would describe it as a taste of smoked fish, but with a beef – texture, whereas the meat itself is very tender and juicy. That time, I was lucky, I was actually liking what I was trying.
After becoming a “no industrial meat-eater” I am glad, I got to taste it in Svalbard. I wouldn’t touch it if I would find a “fresh whale meat – right from the arctic” bag in the freezer of my local supermarket.
Some stuff just only tastes right in the right place!
This post is part of the Blog Event “Monthly Travels Challenge” that I joined.