I’ve been debating whether to even mention this. Some of you will be horrified, most of you will be grossed out. Some of you might even think I’m an awful person. But I’m just gonna put it out there and be honest.
:: Deep breath ::
While in Iceland… I… ate whale. There, I said it. I ate whale.
One guide book I read before going said to not eat it, that the locals didn’t eat whale and it was something only sucker tourists did. But then another book I read said that whale, like puffin and rotten shark meat, was just another old local culinary tradition. Icelanders maybe didn’t eat it regularly but they wouldn’t judge me if I did it.
When my sister and I went Saegreifinn for their famed lobster soup, the only other thing on the menu were different shish kabobs, made of various fish, lobster and scallops. Right in there with them were minke whale kabobs.
Oh, what the hell, I thought, let’s just do this. And so I did. With my sister looking on in complete disgust, I ordered a lobster soup and a minke whale kabob.
Skewered next to a couple of chopped red peppers, the minke whale meat looked like really well-done beef or some other land creature. It was dark on the outside and a deep brown, almost reddish purple color, on the inside. The taste was ok, not fantastic but not gross either. Without the sweet, tangy remoulade type sauce it was served with, it really didn’t have a very distinct flavor at all. But my main problem with the minke whale was its toughness. Every bite seemed to require a hundred chews before being swallowed.
A couple of days later, we went out on a whale watching tour, and even though several species of whales, dolphins and other creatures live in the cold waters around Reykjavik, the only one we spotted several times was the minke whale. In my head I apologized for eating one of his kind. After all, he wasn’t that tasty anyway.