The enormous walrus has a strong flavor with fishy undertones. It may even remind you a little about horse meat. The meat and other body parts usually get made into Igunak, a fermented delicacy. This traditional item forms a beloved dish in the Inuit, Chukchi, Evenki, and Nenets diets.
Many people wonder what does walrus tastes like for real. The deep, strange taste of walrus will lead you to a new world of flavors. But then don’t forget that it is not everyone’s cup of tea.
Well, the best way to find out the taste of walrus is to try some. But legal restriction placed on walrus hunts makes this improbable. Indigenous people of the northern countries have legal rights for walrus hunts.
Does Walrus Taste Good
Whether walrus taste good or not is up to each person. Though a mammal, the walrus has a marine flavor to its meat. The tastes of the Arctic beasts have always been a novel experience for outsiders. The blubber, fat, meat, and other body parts are edible. These get savored in many ways and get considered as valuable food resources.
You may not like walrus on your first try. But with more experience, you develop a liking to these odd flavors. In a nutshell, walrus offers a unique experience for those who try it.
What Does Walrus Taste Like
Walrus has a sharp taste that could feel overwhelming the first time you try it. It even has a certain amount of fishy flavor. This characteristic shouldn’t surprise us as these beasts spend most of their time in the ocean. When compared with land mammals, one can say that it tastes somewhat like horse meat.
The potent flavors of walrus when fermented give rise to Igunak, also known as Kopalhen. It is the rotten walrus meat frozen for future consumption. It does have a rotten tinge to the flavor. Not only the meat, but also the skin, fat, and flippers get made into Igunak. They may vary slightly in taste and texture. Considered a delicacy, this dish is valuable among the natives.
Igunak needs months of fermentation to reach the pinnacle of its taste. The walrus flippers when done like this, have a chewy structure. The flavors of this rare dish could be a lot to take in for an outsider. The flavor of walrus can be classified as an acquired one. This isn’t only true for Igunak but all items made with walrus. You will learn to love this strange food item when you get used to it.
Walrus fat and blubber have an oily feel that does not taste that savory. A dish like a whale muktuk called walrus coak gets prepared from its blubber. It is nothing but an inch of blubber attached to skin cooked with salt and water. The taste is odd, salty, and as said before an acquired one. Walrus tongue has a tough consistency ideal for preparing delectable pickles.
Are Walrus Safe to Eat
Walrus used to be a reliable food item for the Intuits and other native communities. These days this delicacy is getting attention as a source of trichinellosis infections. It is caused by a worm species that infect walrus, bears, seals, foxes, and others. Young individuals and middle-aged females offer safer options. They have lower infection rates. Preferring these categories over old adults could decrease the incidents of trichinellosis.
Walrus provides healthy and nutrient-rich food. It contains the goodness of Omega-3 fatty acids and selenium. This animal also has a much lower mercury content than whales and dolphins. These vulnerable species get protected by legislation in many countries, including Canada. Indigenous people have exceptions in walrus hunting owing to cultural reasons.
Walrus may offer you one of the most intriguing flavor experiences of your lifetime. This gigantic creature has a taste that acts as reminiscent of the sea. As a mammal, walrus meat also possesses many characteristics of land animals.
The most famous walrus dish is the fermented delicacy called Igunak. Walrus contains many nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and selenium. Incidents of trichinellosis infections have raised concerns about the safety of its raw consumption. This risk gets minimized by hunting younger adults and mid-sized females.