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Seal meat in Toronto?

vidkid Jul 1, 2009 02:12 PM

Just read a great article in the NY Times about seal meat in Canadian restaurants:

Unfortunately there was no mention of any TO restaurants and a search of the CH board for "seal" turned up nothing.

Do any CHers know of any chefs that serve or stores that sell seal meat?

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    tjr RE: vidkid Jul 1, 2009 04:00 PM

    I've only had it in Montreal. Maybe a butcher could order it in for you?

    1. jayt90 RE: vidkid Jul 1, 2009 06:00 PM

      Does it have to be inspected? Wild meat, not inspected, from Inuit can be sold here, and usually goes to chefs with connections.
      But seal meat can be taken by non-Inuit, and I suspect the carcasses have to be inspected in abattoirs in Newfoundland and Labrador. You could post this on the Canada or Montreal board, and someone will know how to get the seal meat down south.

      1. duckdown RE: vidkid Jul 1, 2009 06:35 PM

        tried it....and it was horrid

        12 Replies
        1. re: duckdown
          jayt90 RE: duckdown Jul 1, 2009 06:56 PM

          What place? How was it prepared? Did it taste fishy? Fatty? Most of us have no idea...

          1. re: jayt90
            duckdown RE: jayt90 Jul 1, 2009 08:53 PM

            had it up north before at a bash, my friend is native and had a large family at his place for a party... it tasted fishy from what i remember and it was really rubbery... something about the texture i think just really did not make me want to eat it... i was being polite, lol. i would not repeat the experience. it was prepared in like a stew or something i thought... it was made indoors, im not sure.. i also remember it was one of the family members there that brought it and they were all telling me about it while it was cooking

            i think they made jerky from it as well

            1. re: duckdown
              tjr RE: duckdown Jul 1, 2009 09:38 PM

              I've had it seared and as a stew; both times it was pretty good! It didn't really taste "fishy" at all. It was almost like whale in flavour and texture, in case anyone has had it before (Japanese school lunches!).

              1. re: tjr
                duckdown RE: tjr Jul 1, 2009 10:10 PM

                lol, never tried whale..cant imagine that

                i found it fishy.. or it smelled fishy, it was one or the other

                they're big into preserving it too... boy o boy does that kind stink

                1. re: duckdown
                  tjr RE: duckdown Jul 1, 2009 10:36 PM

                  Guess you'll never try hákarl? :-)

                  1. re: tjr
                    estufarian RE: tjr Jul 2, 2009 08:22 AM

                    Maybe if the seal was allowed to ferment for 6 months....
                    Of course, EEC regulations now apply to hakarl as well, so has to be aged in a freezer. And, of course, the stink diminishes over time - although I've never tried the unaged version, which is supposedly indigestible.

                    If seal is like whale, then I'm up for trying it. I suspect duckdown hasn't had 'properly' prepared seal meat - surely it shouldn't be 'rubbery' - even pickled whale blubber has a pleasant texture (although not much taste).

                    1. re: estufarian
                      tjr RE: estufarian Jul 2, 2009 09:36 AM

                      I'm not so sure I'd enjoy fermented seal, but I'm up for trying anything at least once! I think seal is one of those friendly animals that people won't eat for moral reasons -- but I also read somewhere that the meat is fairly high in mercury content, so you may not want to make it an essential part of your diet.

                      1. re: tjr
                        Davwud RE: tjr Jul 2, 2009 09:45 AM

                        My sisters ex boyfriend is a Newfie and had some Pickled Seal in his fridge. Both Mrs. Sippi and I tried it and liked it.

                        It tasted fishy but not in a bad way. It was also fiberous. Like a brisket or flank steak but more so. Just imagine feeding a cow nothing but fish and I think you'd have an approximation on what it tastes like.


                        1. re: Davwud
                          estufarian RE: Davwud Jul 2, 2009 01:36 PM

                          That seems more like the flipper I tried in NF.

                          1. re: estufarian
                            Davwud RE: estufarian Jul 2, 2009 06:42 PM

                            It was slightly odd at first but the three of us ate a half jar. Or, a half quart of the stuff.


                      2. re: estufarian
                        jayt90 RE: estufarian Jul 2, 2009 06:43 PM

                        If DD's seal was prepared by a native family in a traditional way, how could it not be correct?

                        Any variations we non-inuit have evolved are possibly correct, especially if they are true to original. But they can't be more correct than the original native dishes.

                        1. re: jayt90
                          estufarian RE: jayt90 Jul 3, 2009 08:18 AM

                          My mother was English. She cooked terrible food. If I am to take your point I (and she) were both wrong. Obviously, as a mother, she cooked perfectly both English food and Home-cooked food.
                          Just because it was traditional, doesn't mean it was well-prepared.
                          Maybe my use of the word 'properly' was not well thought through.

          2. OnDaGo RE: vidkid Jul 2, 2009 10:03 AM

            The answer would be no in Toronto...

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