At my wedding, this year in Guatemala, one of my Trini friends asked me if I was going to Antarctica to eat “curry penguin”. For all those non-Trinis who read my blog, Trinidadians have a fascination with trying to cook and curry anything. I’ve had alligator and snake curry … I don’t recommend it. We cook all sorts of wild game in Trinidad … and they will invariably curry whatever they can find. Today’s entry will address the following question posed after 25.23 glasses of scotch/vodka/rum at a wedding …
“Sankar! Are you going to eat ah curry Penguin?”
The simple answer is … No!
Obviously one cannot make a penguin curry in Antarctica. There are a couple reasons that you can’t “curry ah penguin”.
- Penguins are actually protected and United States citizens are specifically prohibited from eating them.
- Penguins are protected by some treaty in 1959 … which states some legalese blah blah blah … but basically … it’s illegal. The Antarctic Conservation Act says citizens may not “take” wildlife (and the word take generally means harassment) unless the citizen is a scientist who has applied for and obtained a permit for important scientific work. If you were to touch a penguin and didn’t have a permit, you could be fined up to $5,000. If you were to maliciously injure or kill a penguin, you could be fined up to $10,000 and go to jail for up to a year.
- There is no where to curry the damn thing … have you seen a slow moving, warm river in Antarctica? Hence no river lime for your Penguin cook! Here is an excellent “reference” for eating Penguin.
Question : Is Penguin meat Halal?
Answer : Birds that comply with the following two conditions can be eaten.
1. The body is covered with feathers.
2. They are not classes as birds of prey (possessing talons).
Now I’m a not a Muslim and I have no issues with Muslim (My mother grew up in the Islamic faith!) … that being said, I didn’t know if Penguins could be Halal or not. By the above definition … Penguin meat = NOT HALAL!
Question : Is Penguin meat Kosher?
Answer : See above rationale … Penguin meat = NOT KOSHER!
Question : Can a Trinidadian eat Penguin?
Answer : Since the UNC, PNM, PPP etc can’t even figure out how to wipe their asses … you can be sure that there is no law specific to Trinidad about eating Penguins. Antarctica isn’t even a country, hence there is no legislation to stop you, but you can be sure that if someone catches you eating a Penguin, you’re going to be in a world of trouble … and any Trinidadian knows that our passport is as useful as a box of cat hair.
Question : Can a Trinidadian eat Penguin?
Answer : Here is an answer copied straight from a source : Penguins were eaten regularly by sealers and early Antarctic explorers. The penguins in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and South America were also eaten by the native peoples. The breast is the favoured part and is the most palatable. The legs, while muscly, have a strong fishy taste. Penguin eggs were also popular. An area of the penguin colony was marked and all eggs were removed and destroyed. The birds laid further eggs to replace the lost ones and these were then taken and eaten as they were known to be fresh. Eventually the birds would stop laying or they would be left alone with an egg or two to incubate.
Question: Why would you want to eat Penguin? They’re so cute!!
Answer : A Trinidadian will attempt to curry anything, if he/she has a chance. This being said… I would assume the following of the meat
- Likely to be VERY fishy. That is their diet and meat tends to accept flavor profiles based on diet. They birds eat fish, squid and krill, their meat would probably have lots of marine oils and taste to it!
- Where would you get fresh Penguin? It’s hard to get fresh unless you happen to live near Penguin rich regions. Trinis are not fond of frozen meat for their curries, if they have a chance at fresh meat.
- It would be very fatty … have you seen a skinny Penguin? I already don’t like duck meat unless my mother cooks it … I can only imagine what that curry pot would look like, when cooking a Penguin. I have no idea how you would burn the skin crispy either … Since these
Question: Has anyone eaten Penguin? If so, what does it taste like?
Answer : If you lived in 1897 and you sailed there and got stuck there … you would eventually have to eat one. According some dude named Frederick Cook (he was some famous surgeon/polar explorer … meh, I explore in my sleep and on my back) … who got stuck there, said the following about the taste
“a piece of beef, odiferous cod fish and a canvas-backed duck roasted together in a pot, with blood and cod-liver oil for sauce”
That doesn’t sound like the basis of a great curry … but then again, ole Fred Cook didn’t have Paratha and Buss-Up shot skills like my aunt!
Answer : See definition of “No!”