Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Food that I will Never Eat Again - Seal Flipper (1 of 3 foods)

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This is a fun post, let's play together 😃 What food have you ever eaten that you will never eat again?

I start first, then you add your "never again" food in the comments below. OK? 👌

Disclaimer: These are just my personal reactions to the food. It merely reflects my inexperienced taste buds and lack of exposure 😅 

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😱 Seal

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In the 1980s, I arrived in the island of Newfoundland in Canada's rugged coast where the Atlantic ocean thunders on to the rocky shores and sheer vertical cliffs of eastern North America. We arrived for university with not enough money to complete the programme, but with no lack of gung ho and naïveté. We were just going to wing it and cross the bridge when we come to it.

So, we were pretty excited when we stumbled upon mobile stalls in the summer that sold seal meat.

Credit: Public domain photo

You see, there is the centuries old annual seal cull in Newfoundland during the start of summer and seal meat is widely sold. Seal meat is part of the traditional diet here, especially among the Inuit people (Eskimos). The locals (mainly Irish) also like seal flipper pies 👈 click

Curious about the new experience, we immediately bought home a seal flipper. The thick meaty paw (fur and bone removed) was a bit bigger than a man's palm and cost just CDN1. We thought it would be a great culinary adventure and would help stretch our meagre savings as well (at that time, SGD1 was worth merely 60 cents Canadian).

When we got home, we dusted the seal paw with a sprinkle of salt and slotted it straight into the oven just like the way we would bake a steak. We waited, and soon the whole kitchen was filled with an awful, pungent smell that quickly spread to the living room.

Our house mates staggered into the hall, wondering what the smell was about. (Our house mates just arrived from Hong Kong and Malaysia were equally unaccustomed to the strange smell.)

The best way I could describe it is, it smelled very similar to that odour when we squish a cockroach 😨 Really.

But, we bore with it as we were poor and weren't about to throw away a big piece of meat.

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When it was cooked, we took it out of the oven. I held my breath and gingerly sliced a sliver of the deep red, almost purple colour meat. I chewed on the tender skinny strip of meat, but it was very fibrous, almost like a juke rope. And, the overwhelming taste of cockroach was strong.

That pungent smell of cockroach was deep in the fat interlacing the meat.

Sadly, we had to reluctantly abandon the large piece of good meat.

But, that wasn't the end of the story.

As someone who long prided myself for being able to "eat anything", I wasn't going to give up so easily.

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Fast forward 3 years.

So, after graduation and before leaving beautiful Newfoundland, I bought another seal flipper and had another go at it.

Unfortunately, it was a repeat of the exact same scenario from three years ago.

I surrender 😂

And now, over to you 😃

What food would you "never eat again"?

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  1. Replies
    1. Very good decision! Taste is not that crazy good and it does a lot of harm...

  2. "Extremely interesting. It got me thinking though. I probably would try to avoid a certain fermented fish sauce in Thailand for the rest of my life but it's definitely not as drastic as the seal flipper." Comment by Eddie Yii on Facebook.

  3. Pondaegi (boiled silkworms) in Korea.

  4. Rooster testicles. Raw. In Taiwan. Never ever again!

  5. Dear Tony,

    The thing that really puts me off wasn't anything disgusting ; it was just a simple fish dish which was served to us when I was based in North Eastern China (东北). It was a fresh water fish still alive gasping for breath with its body sashimi-ed for freshness with wasabe dip sauce. All of us Malaysians were aghasted and traumatised for use of a better word. The Chinese host could not understand why we could not appreciate freshness in the fish dish ! Never again

  6. The second time was even worse. A cold towel was wrapped around the fish head and its body dipped into searing hot oil. The medium rare fish meat was then served whole with the head still alive and gasping with its pleading eyes. Again it puts me off for life. In fact one it see such videos uploaded to You Tube if one search " Live fish sashimi or live fish dipped in boiling oil " . Then again one man's meat is another's poison

  7. Raw horse meat in thin slices when I was in Dalian few years ago.

  8. Fermented stingray soup in South Korea.

  9. Callos (beef tripe) from tapas bar in Spain. I'm not really a tripe-eating person.

    Maybe, you should braised the seal meat with spices instead (if opportunity arises again). It definitely has the "game" meat colour.

    Regards, Penang foodie living in UK

    1. LOL not sure if braising will do the trick. The pungentness is very strong. Maybe maybe a pie like the Irish locals do might work for me :-D even then I am not sure ;-p


I share hoping that everyone will have a good time but your experience may differ from mine. I love to know how you enjoyed yourself or if you didn't.

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