Some animals have such adorable doe-eyed faces that it pains us to consume them. As an example, consider the word doe. However, such sentimental attachments might be challenging. Consider the seal issue. Let’s get into the topic; what does seal taste like.
Because of the inhumane way some people hunt the creatures, the United States and Europe have both prohibited the import of seals. As far as laws go, it wasn’t tough to pass. The mere mention of seal clubbing turns most people’s stomachs.
However, the Canadian government permits seal hunting, claiming that it provides a sustainable, healthy meat source for many Arctic populations who have no other source of nutrition. Most significantly, it insists on regulating seal hunting. This is to guarantee that it is done ethically and humanely.
Chef-owner Benoit Lenglet of Montreal’s Au Cinquième Pêché (the name translates as “the fifth sin,” which isn’t seal hunting but rather gluttony) is adamantly opposed to killing a seal for its pelt. Its meat, on the other hand, is a different story. When one of his chefs came from the rugged, wild Îles de la Madeleine with some harp seal to test, he had his first taste of seal. (Seal is called “phoque” in French, and it’s pronounced exactly as you think it is.) More to the topic; what does seal taste like below!!
The seal was “amazing,” he says. “The texture, the flavor, it’s heavy in protein and has a little saline taste.” “Because it contains no fat, it cannot be cooked for an extended period of time.
He serves the seal as tataki, a filet that has been lightly grilled on the outside, with a watermelon salad. He also uses it to make charcuterie, such as prosciutto and sausage. And seal produces a delicious tartare, lean and light like mild beef with a hint of the sea.
“Meat is a hot topic,” Lenglet explains. “The picture we have of [seal hunting] is not a pretty one,” he says, adding that there is just as much potential for abuse with any animal we kill for sustenance.
He understands where his meat comes from, that it is sustainable, and that it was killed humanely. He claims that the population of harp seals is increasing. While he’s unconcerned about criticism (“I’m not forcing anyone to eat it”), Lenglet is dedicated to changing people’s attitudes towards seal meat.
“It’s something I want people to find out about,” he says.”It is consumed by the natives and the people of the Îles de la Madelaine.” This is an expression of our terroir. “
Most countries make it illegal to hunt seals, but consuming seal meat is not. According to the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, killing marine mammals is forbidden in the United States. The exception is for subsistence hunting and eating of dead seals.
No one can own a seal in Canada. You need explicit authorization from Fisheries & Oceans Canada. People who continue to hunt seals illegally can be fined or imprisoned, but the penalties are usually not severe.
Canadians now consume seal meat only once or twice a year. Because of the importance of seals in traditional culture, Canadian people rely on them for sustenance; the same cannot be said for the United States and Europe.
Yes, but we don’t advise it. One of the best things about seals is that they are tasty, but that isn’t the only reason.
This is why Canadian natives frequently consume raw seal meat; not for religious reasons, but because seal meat has a short shelf life, making it a priority to consume it as fresh as possible.
The seal, like other red meats, can be prepared in a variety of ways. Keep in mind that seal meat is more sensitive than other meats, so cook it at a lower temperature or for a shorter amount of time to guarantee tenderness and succulence are maintained during the cooking process. If you want something juicy and medium-rare on the interior, braising might be your best bet.
The seal works nicely when pan-roasted (seared on one side only) before being completed in a hot oven, which retains moisture in the flesh without overcooking it. Seals could even be served as kebabs. Sealing in a roast is also a fantastic alternative to the usual holiday fare of turkey or ham.
Frying is the toughest of all cooking processes, it’s easy to end up with a dry and chewy crust. Seal meat can be baked for an extended period of time on low heat. In this way, the meat will have a tender, cooked meat consistency that can be readily broken apart.
It is seasonal meat that is available from March to September. If you can get your hands on some seal flesh, Chef Lenglet recommends the following recipe:
- 1 teaspoon capers, ground
- 7 ounces of seal loin, diced
- 1 teaspoon Dulse (Atlantic seaweed), finely chopped
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon shallots, finely chopped
- salt, pepper, and Tabasco, to taste
Blend the items in a mixing dish until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve. What is the taste of a seal? Is seal meat delicious?
Almost every animal species has a different flavor profile—chicken, for example, is frequently described as “crispy” or “nutty,” but seal meat is recognized for its oily and salty flavor.
However, not all of these seals have the same characteristics: some are slimmer than others, so their tastes are likely to range from fishy to beef-like in texture with a trace of sweetness.
Seal meat has a flavor and texture comparable to lamb or beef, with a gamey flavor that softens as it cooks.
Outside of Canada, most restaurants that specialize in seal meals serve something similar to traditional dishes such as raw salmon sashimi or steak tartare, so customers know what to anticipate.
Seal flesh is a delicacy worth tasting, especially if you’re looking for something a little different. To avoid dryness, cook the meat fully and evenly after cooking it (on the stovetop or in the oven)—this will also help to remove any gamey flavor. We hope you found this information helpful in understanding how to prepare and enjoy easting seals.