Monday, September 12, 2005

Whale curry served at lunch in Japanese junior high - for the first time in 38 years

Curious. Lady T____ used to eat whale meat quite often when she was in school in Tokyo – though I’m not sure what kind it was. During my last trip there I had the chance to eat whale sashimi. It has little taste but was rich, if that makes any sense. I found out that it was best eaten raw (as with seafood in general). I’m not the only one who thinks this way. As Stubb instructed the Pequod’s cook, Fleece, in Moby Dick after the latter served him a whale steak:

“Well then, cook; you see this whale-steak of yours was so very bad, that I have put it out of sight as soon as possible; you see that, don't you? Well, for the future, when you cook another whale- steak for my private table here, the capstan, I'll tell you what to do so as not to spoil it by overdoing. Hold the steak in one hand, and show a live coal to it with the other; that done, dish it; d'ye hear?”

He went on to order more delicacies:

“And now to-morrow, cook, when we are cutting in the fish, be sure you stand by to get the tips of his fins; have them put in pickle. As for the ends of the flukes, have them soused, cook. There, now ye may go."

But Fleece had hardly got three paces off, when he was recalled.

"Cook, give me cutlets for supper to- morrow night in the mid-watch. D'ye hear? away you sail, then. - Halloa! stop! make a bow before you go. - Avast heaving again! Whale-balls for breakfast - don't forget."

Whale balls, eh? I wonder what they would call those at Cattleman's....Leviathan fries.

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