Advice: Eat the meat of penguins?


Dear Beerhaze,

Do people eat the meat of penguins?

I mean, they live on fish just like seals, so it should mean that they make good eatings, right?

Dear Sir Blubber Butt,

You would be more than correct! Penguins are edible, and in fact, they can be prepared to be quite scrumptious. Early Antarctic explorers ate penguins as a means of survival. Today, penguins are protected (The Antarctic Treaty was signed by 12 nations in 1959 and reauthorized in 1991 to protect Antarctica and preserve its living resources) and no longer sold in grocery stores. To enjoy penguin, you need to:

  • Buy Asian black market meat.
  • Have a friend that works for a zoo.
  • End up in a life threatening situation in Antarctica (the only time you are legally allowed to tap in to this food resource).
  • Be the first person to start penguin farming.
  • Become a researcher.

The first thing you need to realize before cooking penguin – they are extremely fatty. Same as a duck and other fatty animals, the easiest way to cook with fatty meats is to roast it. This enables the fat to slowly melt and thus keeping the meat moist and tender.

Younger penguins taste better than older ones. Older penguins are almost too highly flavoured to be palatable. As with any other game meat, the flavour of penguin meat can be improved by washing it thoroughly, and then hanging it in fresh air for a few days, before cooking.

After the slight again process, the penguin meat can be further improved by blanching the meat before cooking. This will render additional fat, and neutralize some of the gamey flavours.

The taste of the wild can also be masked in the cooking process, using proper ingredients and spices. For culinary delights, you must remove the blubber and strive to render as much fat as possible, without drying out the meat.

When it comes to preferred cuts, the penguin breast is the best and meatiest part and make excellent steaks. Penguin breast meat resembles that of ox heart.

Penguin eggs make omelettes very similar to those using Chicken eggs. The key is to remove excess egg white in order to enhance the flavour.

Penguin blood is oxygen rich, which means that the meat will turn un-appetizingly dark when cooked. However, this can also be masked with additional ingredients.

Here are three classic Penguin recipes, courtesy of the Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service.

Roast Penguin

Ingredients:
Penguin breasts
Butter
Beef suet
Dried onions
Flour
Gravy granules
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
Season the penguin breasts well with salt and pepper and dip each piece in melted butter. Roll in flour and fry in beef suet to seal the meat, turning once. When each side is crisp, place in baking tray and pour over the fat from the frying pan. Sprinkle with dried onion and cook in the oven on medium heat until tender. For the gravy – stir a teaspoon of flour into the cooking fat then add a spoon-full of gravy granules and sufficient water or stock to thicken.

Escallops of Penguin

Ingredients:
Penguin breasts
Dried onions
Milk
Batter mix
Flour
Beef suet
1 tin of condensed mushroom soup
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
Cut the penguin breasts into thin slices and soak in milk for about two hours. Pat dry, season with salt and pepper and flour the penguin escallops. Mix the onions into the batter. Dip the meat in the batter and deep fat fry. Pour the heated soup over the battered penguin as a sauce.

Sautéed Penguin

Ingredients:
Penguin breasts
1 cup of dried onions
1 tin tomatoes
1 tin tomato soup
4oz. butter
Mixed herbs
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
Cut the penguin breasts into small pieces and fry in the butter until brown then add the onion. Drain the tomatoes and mash half the tin into a purée, then stir into the meat and onion mixture. Add salt and pepper and some mixed herbs and the tomato soup. Simmer until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened.

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