Seals are one of the most polarizing animals in the world. Some people love to eat them, while others refuse to set foot on a beach where they might be lurking.
It’s a popular dish in some countries like Canada and Norway, but it’s not for everyone.
If you’re curious about the taste of seal meat, here’s what you need to know before deciding whether or not you want to try it.
What is Seal?
Seal is a type of marine mammal that lives in the Arctic Ocean. The meat of the seal includes its flippers, meat from the ribs, and other cuts.
Seal is primarily hunted for their fur which has been used to make clothing such as coats with hoods or capes, gloves, hats (especially in Russia), boots, and blankets since ancient times.
The skin of a baby harp seal can be thin enough to produce an artificial membrane that acts like cellophane when pulled into long strands; this was historically exploited by weaving companies worldwide (though it isn’t very good quality).
Seal also has been a food source for humans throughout history, and in some cultures, it’s still eaten today.
In most parts of the world where seal is consumed as meat, it’s typically either boiled or roasted with spices.
The Inuit tribes living in Canada have traditionally depended on seals for their survival over thousands of years, which means there might be something about this mammal that we should take notice of.
Why Is Seal Meat Illegal?
Seal meat is not illegal, but seal hunting is – in most countries.
In the United States, the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 prohibits the killing of any marine mammal, with exceptions for subsistence hunting and prohibiting feeding on a dead seal.
In Canada, it is illegal to own any part of a seal without having obtained written approval from Fisheries & Oceans Canada (DFO).
The consequences are typically not very severe, but there have been cases where people were fined or imprisoned because they continued to hunt seals illegally.
However, today’s Canadians generally only eat seal meat once every few years on special occasions such as
The main reason why Canadian communities will rely on sealing for food is due to its importance in traditional culture; that same argument can’t be made in the United States and Europe.
Can You Eat Seal Raw?
Yes, but it’s not recommended. Seal is one of the most unique meats that you can find, and it’s not just because they’re delicious to eat.
That’s why Canadian natives tend to consume seal meat raw; this isn’t for religious purposes, but rather due to its short life span which makes eating it as fresh as possible a priority.
What Does Seal Taste Like? Does Seal Meat Taste Good?
Most animals have their flavor profile – chicken has a taste that’s often described as “crispy” or “nutty”, for example; seal meat, on the other hand, is known to have an oily and salty flavor.
It should be noted that not all of this species will bear these same characteristics: some seals are leaner than others, so they’re more likely to provide tastes that may range from fishy to beef-like in texture with a little bit of sweetness added into the mix.
The flavor of seal meat can be described as similar to lamb or beef, with a slightly gamey taste and texture that becomes more tender the longer it’s cooked.
If you can get your hands on it outside Canada though, you’ll find that the majority of restaurants specializing in seal meal offer up something similar enough to traditional dishes like steak tartare or raw salmon sashimi where fans know what they’re getting beforehand.
How to Cook Seal Meat?
Just like any other red meat, seal can be cooked using a variety of different cooking methods.
It’s important to note though that the seal meat is more delicate than other meats, so you’ll need to cook it at lower temperatures or for shorter periods to ensure its tenderness and succulence remain intact throughout the process.
If you’re looking for something with a juicy medium-rare center, then braising might be your best bet.
Seal also does well when pan-roasted (seared only on one side) before finishing off in an oven which will allow it to keep some of its moisture without overcooking the outside layer too much – this method would even make seal workable as kebabs.
You can also try seal in a roast, which is an interesting twist on traditional holiday dishes such as turkey or ham.
Frying seal is the trickiest of all cooking methods, as it’s very easy to end up with a dry and chewy product from this method.
Baking seal meat on low heat for a long time can work well in some cases though, especially if you’re looking for a tender boiled-meat consistency that can be pulled into strings or shreds without too much effort.
Seal meat is a delicacy that is worth trying, especially when you’re looking for something a little different.
After cooking seal meat (whether on the stovetop or in an oven), make sure to cook it thoroughly and evenly so that it doesn’t become dry – this will help to get rid of any gamey flavor as well.
We hope this article has been helpful for you to understand how to cook seal meat. Thank you for reading our blog post on cooking seal meat.