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Jul 1, 2009 02:12 PM

Seal meat in Toronto?

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

    1. 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. re: duckdown

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

          1. re: jayt90

            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

              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

                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

                  Guess you'll never try hákarl? :-)

                  1. re: tjr

                    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

                      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

                        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

                          That seems more like the flipper I tried in NF.

                          1. re: estufarian

                            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

                        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

                          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. The answer would be no in Toronto...