Seal oil offers an unusual but intriguing flavor that has a distinct character. It gets made from seal fat. This oil has a hint of marine flavor. Also savored alone, this condiment is considered a delicacy by the natives of the North.
Chances are slim for you to like seal oil flavor the first time you try it. The taste feels uncommon and exotic. You may be now wondering about what does seal oil tastes like.
Seal oil offered a much-needed source of nutrients and energy in the cold Arctic. It also has other uses like fuel, medicine, and much more. This food rarity has much debate going on around it due to its sustainability.
What is Seal Oil?
Seal oil gets extracted by boiling and rendering seal fat. Then the separated oil gets strained. In the cold Arctic regions, people need to consume lots of fats. These help to fight the extreme cold and keep them warm.
Seal oil can get prepared using any of the seal species. Harp seal is the common seal used for this preparation. Bearded, spotted, and ring seals also give good results. Climate change has raised a question on the sustainability of seal hunts these days. It has hastened the decline of seal populations. Only indigenous people have the right to hunt seals in most places now.
The versatile uses of seal oil can amaze anyone. It is used to flavor dishes like soups and stews. People use it for frying, braising, roasting, etc. Alaskans consume it alone as a delicacy. Seal oil also finds use in skincare products and as medicine. Many indigenous people use this oil to store their meat and dried fish.
Seal oil offers a better source of omega-3 fatty acids than fish oil. It is high in HDL with only a small part of LDL cholesterol. DPA, EPA, and DHA in it keep your heart, joints, brain healthy. They also amplify prenatal health.
What Does Seal oil Taste Like
Seal oil has a distinctive taste hard to describe in words. It has an oil-like consistency that can feel a bit fishy. This amber-colored fatty oil does not resemble your savory butter. The flavor is bold and sharp. It offers a novel experience for those who taste it for the first time.
You must not think about seal oil as a delightful dish that would woo anyone. This taste is daring, and there can even be notes of bitterness in it. The flavor might not feel pleasant for all. Specifically for those who are not familiar with the flavors of the creatures of the Arctic. It lingers in the mouth for a long time than you would expect.
As you know, the seal is a land mammal. But does seal oil taste like something from a terrestrial animal? It doesn’t. This taste can invoke a marine sensation in your taste buds You may feel like it has some similarities with vegetable oils or melted butter. But the flavor falls towards the marine side.
Seal oil flavor depends on the treatment used for the fat. This decides on the gaminess and burnt flavor the oil gets. Usually, a crispy part of seal fat called crackling floats on the surface of seal oil. This melts on your tongue adding to the taste of the oil. Some seal oils may feel heavy whereas other feels light.
The taste of seal oil has a powerful punch to it. This specialty makes it beloved as a stand-alone dish. The individuality of the seal oil flavor makes it a good option to flavor other dishes. This exceptional taste is considered an acquired one. This means that you will develop a liking to it with continuous use.
Does Seal Oil Taste Fishy
The one-word answer to this question is a yes. Seal oil tastes slightly fishy. But it feels milder in comparison with other sea creatures. Seal blubber has less fishiness than other animals. Though not unbearable, you will find this flavor when you taste it.
The Fishiness of seal oil depends on the changes in preparation techniques. It also depends on the seal species used. Some taste fishier than others. So you can’t make a statement on the fishiness based on a single experience. But this aspect of seal oil may put off many people away from this dish.
Seal oil has a characteristic taste that cannot get compared with other foods. This energy-rich, fat-rich treat helped people from the Arctic fight the cold climate. It has an oily flavor with a fishy taste. Preparation methods alter the flavor, so some seal oils have a lower marine taste than others.
Different seal species used in oil production can give oils that vary in taste. More the burning, more the burnt-fat flavor it gets. Seal oil is considered an acquired taste. You will get used to it and develop a liking with repeated use.