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Jun 01, 2023

It is always good to use fresh products, so make sure you prepare the meat shortly after you club the animal to death. Freshly cut strips of dolphin are typically fatty and always bloody. Natives of my grandparent’s village, remove the excess blood and fat by boiling it out over a period of hours. While this step is not entirely necessary, it does improve the flavor. There are endless culinary possibilities for dolphin: grilled with a lemon-herb sate dip, broiled steaks covered in a creamy béarnaise sauce, ground patties served with mixed vegetables under a light miso paste, and orange marinaded slices wrapped in cabbage leaves. Not that hungry? Then try dolphin jerky. It makes for a good, light snack. Today, I give you a recipe for dolphin stew.
Dice up vegetables into bite sized bits. Anything you have in your cupboard will work as long as you include carrot, burdock, onion, and scallion. Take a block of konnyaku (gelatinous food made from Devil’s Tongue starch) and cut it into small pieces. Mix these in a standard Japanese clay pot. Then fill the pot with water and three cups of kelp soup-stock. Do not forget to throw a dash of salt in the water before you start cooking! Sugar, soy sauce, and sake are a must. You can choose the proportions based on your own preference, but do not get carried away with the sake. If you have no opinion on the matter, add four tablespoons of sugar and soy sauce before pouring in two cups of sake. Add a few slices of ginger, three or four should do the trick. Cut a pound of meat into slices. Cover the pot with a lid and let it cook for about an hour on medium heat, or at least until everything is thoroughly cooked. Stir the pot from time to time. Serve with miso paste!
Until rather recently, my father’s family ate dolphin. International pressure during the past few decades has forced dolphin from store shelves. My grandmother to this very day longs for dolphin stew, and is rather confused why foreigners are upset over her diet. Why is a dolphin more deserving of mercy than a cow or pig? Why is it okay to eat chicken and a brand of tuna called “Chicken of the Sea?” In Japanese, the logographic characters for dolphin is “sea pig!” It only seems fair that if Americans can eat “chicken of the sea” that Japanese should be allowed to dine on “sea pig.” Are Westerners guilty of cultural chauvinism when they condemn Japanese dolphin wranglers?
Diet and culture are inseparable, and a lot of intercultural exchange takes place over the table. What affect does food have on intercultural communication? What defines food? Should Canadians be allowed to stop Japanese from eating flipper? Do Japanese have the right to condemn Korean dog eaters? Why are the French allowed to eat snails without protest? Please tell the class your thoughts on the topic.

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