I’ve never had a problem laughing at the silly stuff I’ve done. Sure, I’d rather no one saw me doing it, but when it comes to telling stories – like the time I fell in the freezer in Sainsbury’s on Christmas Eve – the best ones are the silly ones. This story – and I’ll keep it short, helped my integration into the small Greenlandic community no end. Basically, I understood that Greenlanders ate seal blubber, I happened to have bought a slab of seal meat with blubber, and… hey… I was good to go! I’m pretty sure Jane had a night shift when I experimented with pasta with blubber in tomato sauce, which can only be a good thing.
So, without further ado, let’s just jump into the recipe. I must warn you to follow each step exactly for the best results.
- Buy a chunk of seal meat from hunters down at the market or straight out of a hunter’s dinghy.
- Save the meat for “some other time” and cut the blubber into squares.
- Add oil to a pan and throw in the chunks.
- Be amazed when it spits and barely browns, and whisper once in a while “that’s a lot of fat”, while cooking the pasta in another pan.
- Try, desperately, to remove some of the oil with a paper towel.
- Whisper once more, “that’s a lot of oil,” followed by, “I’m not sure about this.”
- Open a jar of tomato sauce, dump the blubber chunks into the sauce. Give it a stir, and be amazed at the oil slick puddles of fat rising to the surface.
- Plonk the blubber and sauce onto the pasta.
- Take your first bite.
- A whole chunk.
- Be amazed, and say something like “that’s a lot of fat,” as said fat dribbles out of the corners of your mouth.
- Spit the blubber chunk into the sink.
- Take each chunk, suck the tomato sauce off it, and spit the chunk in the sink.
- Eat the pasta and fatty tomato sauce.
- Feed the blubber to a sledge dog.
- Tell your colleagues and become a ‘legend’ in several languages, dialects, settlements, and, yeah, you’ve got it!
Between us, the only way to eat seal blubber is when a rib of seal is cooked over a fire beneath a flat stone on a beach or in the mountains. The meat cooks in the fat and I have to say, despite growing up vegetarian, regularly eating vegan meals, seal meat on a flat stone fire tastes… legendary!