Sunday, June 22, 2008

You Gonna Eat That?

Whew, I am WAY behind on my posts. After my trip to Barrow, I headed up to Kotzebue (in NW AK) for another mediation, which is what I was doing in Barrow. Anyway, the folks at the Kotz meeting brought in some of their local fare. So, yours truly tried some muktuk. That would be bowhead whale. Dipped in beluga oil. (I'd love to see your face right now!) It tasted just about as good as it looks:

The muktuk was from the "chin" of the whale, so the white part is skin, the brown part is fat. Most of the muktuk I've seen has black skin, but the chin is white. So there ya go. That was Day 1 of the mediation. It only got better from there! On Day 2 I ate boiled ring seal intestine!!! WHAT?! Yes! And it was a baby. I know it's hard to believe, but the intestine wasn't too long as you were able to think about something other than what you were eating. And if this doesn't gross you out, you ought to sign up for fear factor - after eating the intestine I actually thought to myself, "Wow, I have intestine stuck in my teeth." EWWWWWW!!! So, here I am, a tree hugging environmentalist eating endangered species (bowheads), mammals that haven't been seen in years (the beluga oil was from a harvest that took place after years and years of no whales in sight), and then a baby ring seal (proposed species for the endangered species list). But, these animals were taken (i.e., killed) by subsistence hunters, so it's not like they were killed for my personal consumption. And those critters had good lives out in the wilds of AK before they were killed...granted, the baby seal didn't have much time for fun... Hey, when in Rome, right?