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The Whale Burger.

This is a Reuters video report on a Japanese restaurant owner that has introduced a whale burger. According to the report, young customers like the whale burger.

Question #1 > Any readers have opinions on the taste of whale meat?

Question #2 > Does anyone remember Shamu?

Click Play or go to Link [YouTube].

Found at Japan Probe.

I had it at an izaka-ya in Japan in 2005, but sashimi style. The red meat was pretty much like regular beef, just more tough (then again, it was served in big cubes) but overall not bad with some soy sauce and wasabi. The tendons were, instead, the chewiest thing in the world. Even soy sauce or wasabi couldn't make the chewing more pleasant.
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Because whales are intelligent mammals, I'd sooner eat human meat. I think anyone who eats a whale (or dolphin or cat or dog or great ape) needs to have a talk with their spiritual adviser. This is the kind of behavior that my Japanese friends refuse to talk about due to cultural embarrassment.

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I eat whale a few times a year at friends' family reunions, weddings, etc. I've eaten whale burgers once or twice, but most times I've eaten it, it's served marinated and raw, like in a sibesh. I'm not sure what kind of whale... Perhaps Bowhead?

By the way, I live in a small Alaskan town.
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One of the few memories I have from 1st grade in Japan (the last year I attended school there), was looking forward to whale meat day. I dont' have a memory of the taste, just that they were served as "katsu" (cutlets), and they were good...
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Sooner eat human meat?

Why don't you climb out of your ivory tower?

Sorry, I meant "human bone tower". You don't eat the bones, do you? I guess you could boil them for soup.
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Most people wouldn't eat dolphins or monkeys. To me, it's the same kinda thing - whatever, if you do it, but it's still too close for my comfort.
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Whaling is quite controversial (see our previous post on whaling in Faroe Island)

Don (#3): dogs are eaten in China and Korea. Horses, which are quite intelligent animals, are regularly eaten in Europe. Now, pigs, which are not only intelligent but some people say have quite developed emotions, are eaten worldwide.
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you know most pigs and cows are more intelligent than dogs. i'm so tired of "cultural embarrassment" about different types of meat. meat is meat, and to be honest i've never seen the dogs raised for meat in korea go through the torture they go through in the commercial factories in america. the dogs raised for meat are different than pets. it's not like the farmers are kissing and petting and playing with them one second, and butchering them the next.

and they don't have to endure half the shit they do in factory farms.
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I guess everybody draws their own line somewhere. Only Vegans hold the real 'moral' high ground when it comes to food and animals. "Vegetarians" who don't want to harm animals, but who eat dairy products fail to understand that there is no difference between the dairy industry and the beef industry. Dairy cows who's production declines are not "put out to pasture". They are put into burgers. And dairy cows must give birth before they begin milk production. Those calves, veal.
I visited the Thrir Frakkar restaurant in Reykjavik specifically to eat whale [minke whale I believe]. My wife and kids were a bit put off at first, but they all tried it. I thought it was great, like beef with a mild marine character. The appetizer with that meal, puffin, served raw.
And of the smart creature issue, dogs are dumber than dirt compared to pigs, but here in the western world, dogs are off limits but pigs are a staple. Go figure.
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@ Alex.

Ditto. For anyone that has any kind of moral argument against the eating of "intelligent" animals, you can always point to pigs.

@ Don

I'm sorry you're missing out on the bacon.
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I think the whole intelligence issue is moot. As other proponents have said pigs are quite intelligent, yet we eat them with no remorse.

However, I am worried that this growing market will bring back the days of massive whaling operations resulting in the endangerment or extinction of these majestic creatures. We must make sure our insatiable appetites don't supersede the natural rights for species to exist in our world.
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To Alex

I hate it when people throws in the o' Dogs are eaten in China or Korea line like its an irrefutable fact. If you watched the whale burger video, you would know that whale eating originated in post war japan when the people were poor and resources were scarce. Same goes for dogs and other asian countries- they were only eaten during the war/post war era when people were starving and there were little else to eat.

Whale eating is such a controversy not because its about where do you draw the line, at horses or at pigs, but because many whale species are endangered
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As other proponents have said pigs are quite intelligent, yet we eat them with no remorse.

Pigs are definitely not Kosher NOR are they Halal, what fantasy world do you live in where pork consumption isn't controversial?

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I've been looking for a place that serves dolphin for a while but to no avail here in California. It always turns out to be the dolphin fish and not the mammal, which is disappointing. Ever since tuna fish went "dolphin free" it has never tasted the same to me. I can't help but think it was the dolphin, but I'll hold my opinion on the taste until I get my mouth around a dolphin steak.

In any case, I prefer to leave my morality outside the dining room.

There are too many human rights issues to be concerned with, in my opinion, instead of serving whaleburgers and whatnot.
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To answer the questions backward: yes, I remember Shamu, having once been one of the lucky children chosen to sit on him after the show; and no, I didn't taste him.
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Bacon tastes good, Don - and how did the guy know you were Jewish when he typed that? You only revealed that a half-hour after he posted. I presume your apology is ready, so I’ll let it go.
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