Sunday, September 30, 2007

Tastes Like Chicken

Last night was a night of firsts. Julian had his first baby sitter. We were invited to a dinner party, and hired the 12 year old neighbor to keep an eye on Julian. Actually, he should have been sleeping the entire time, so there really was no childcare involved. The dinner party was in walking distance, so we were not far from home. The only thing that struck me as odd was how little the sitter was. She seemed too young to be left home alone herself. We know her and her family quite well, since they literally live next door to us.

At the dinner party, we were served whale meat. I have never had it before. When asked by the host what American attitudes were about eating whale, I explained that it was just one step up from cannibalism, which evoked a hearty laugh from everyone. Actually, it is rather true: it is almost taboo in the US. Of course whaling minkes is legal in Norway, and you see it for sale in some stores.

Whale most definitely does not taste like chicken-- or fish. It is a very red meat. The best way I can describe it is that it tastes much like a bad cut of beef, although a little tougher and with a tighter grain. It also has a slight hint of tasting like an "organ meet" with a subtle hint of beef liver. It isn't bad, but it is a far cry from being a delicacy. I wouldn't go out of my way to kill a whale just so I could have another taste. But I would rather eat whale than another alleged Norwegian food: sheep's head. Maybe next dinner party they will serve spider monkey?

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