The world is your oyster when it comes to seafood as there are tons of different shellfish, crustaceans, and sea creatures that you can bite into. And, each one has a very distinct and unique flavor.
One truly unique seafood that you can try is walrus. Walrus, although not something you’ll eat every day, is a meal that’s sure to leave your mouth watering thanks to its rich flavor.
Walrus meat has a flavor similar to horse meat, but is much meatier, firmer, and more potent. The meat is a little bit chewy, and has none of the sweetness of beef but all of the richness of pork.
Is Walrus Meat Edible?
When many people hear about walrus meat, their first question is whether or not the meat is actually edible. After all, it’s a very uncommon meat and is something that we’re more used to seeing in zoos than on our dinner plates!
The good news is that walrus meat is completely safe to eat. However, it’s a very rare meat and is therefore quite expensive. If you’re looking for walrus meat you’ll have to head to specialty food stores or seek it out in a fancy restaurant.
Regardless of where you manage to find walrus meat, just make sure to eat it cooked. Eating the meat raw can expose you to a parasitic worm called Trichinella nativa that can make you sick. To kill the bacteria, you’ll just need to thoroughly cook the meat, as freezing and fermenting won’t do the trick.
The good news is that when walrus meat is properly prepared, it can be an extremely healthy dish. It has a good dose of omega-3 fatty acids, and has an earthy and rich taste similar to that of seal.
Is It Illegal To Hunt Walrus?
If you’re concerned about whether or not hunting walrus is illegal, we’re not surprised. After all, hunting whales and other similar animals has strict legal restrictions associated with it.
The answer to whether or not it’s illegal to hunt walrus depends on where you live. In the United States, walruses are protected animals and it is illegal to hunt and kill these creatures.
However, in certain parts of Canada, Greenland, Japan, and Russia, it’s completely okay to hunt walrus. As such, you’ll have an easier time finding these creatures in a shop than you would in the US.
What Cultures Eat Walrus?
As you might have guessed, walrus meat isn’t common in Western culture. However, that’s not to say that no cultures eat walrus meat!
The cultures that regularly consume walrus meat include people living in Canada, Alaska, and Greenland. The Inuit people in these areas call the meat Igunaq, and is a traditional food made out of polar bear, walrus blubber, and seal.
While it may seem odd to most of us to chomp into some walrus blubber, the Inuit people have been doing so for THOUSANDS of years. They eat the meat blanched or raw and use the fat as a way to seal the skin. The meat is considered not only a healthy food source, but also a traditional medicine.
While today walrus is sold as jerky or steaks, it was previously hunted specifically for its blubber. The blubber was a valuable food source in Alaska and Russia, and could also be used as a fuel source for ships.
How to Cook Walrus
We mentioned that it’s extremely important to cook walrus thoroughly. However, we didn’t mention how to cook it so here it is (not in detail though – maybe another time?):
Like many other mammals, walrus is a very fatty meat. To help offset the fat, many chefs will cook the meat with sauces and marinades to help bring out the flavor of the meat.
Once they’ve seasoned the meat, chefs cook the walrus at low temperatures for long periods of time. This helps to bring out the unique flavor of the walrus and create a rich, earthy flavor.
There are a few different ways that you can cook walrus. You can roast, grill, barbecue, or sautee the meat. Or, you can cook them into stews, stir fries, and curries. They also taste great as fried nuggets!
Despite the plethora of ways to prepare this meat, the most common method for cooking walrus is to boil the meat. The reason so many people choose to boil walrus is because it’s an effective way to cook lots of meat at a time and to remove the skin and bones.
Frequently Asked Questions
We know, we know, walrus is quite an interesting meat. As such, you’ve probably got some extra questions! Check out these answers to the most commonly asked questions about this meat.
Where is walrus hunted?
Walrus is primarily hunted in the arctic regions of the world. This includes Greenland, Alaska, and northern Canada. However, you can also find it sold in specialty markets in Japan and Russia, although the meat is not widely consumed.
What does blubber taste like?
Since most of the walrus meat you’ll eat actually consists of blubber, you’re probably wondering what it tastes like. Blubber tastes nutty when eaten raw, or rich and creamy when cooked.
Where can I buy walrus?
If you want to get your hands on walrus, you’ll be hard-pressed to find this meat, even in specialty food shops. The easiest way to find walrus is to purchase it online from Inuit food shops, as these cultures eat walrus as part of their diet.