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Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Holiday Market and A Whale

December brings with it winter and the holidays.  Which, in Norway, means a variety of things.  Two of my favorite are: 1) Juleøl

Dark.  Smooth.  Perfect
and the other is the Christmas Market (or Julemarked).  

The sky is not really that dark... well, not all the time
The Christmas Market is cool because there's interesting decor there (Elk Antlers piled upon each other gives new meaning to the phrase:  Racks on Racks on Racks), random animal sightings (I saw a Reindeer walking down the streets of Oslo... contrary to popular belief, that's not a regular occurrence), and, of course, goofy sweaters (jeg elsker norske genser!).

However, I found something new that I had been thinking about since I first came to the land of moose in sunset, whale.  Not like whale, but whale... All jokes aside, Norway only hunts the Minke Whale.  Which is neither intelligent (like, say, pigs) nor cute (like, say, baby carrots... you veggies can get it, too!).  Moving along...

You 'bout to be dinner, homie... 

I wanted to try whale and the market happened to have a stand that sold it.

The following conversation happened:

Me: Do you sell whale?
Stand Owner: Yes
Me: Can I purchase some?
Stand Owner: Yes [awkward pause] would you like to buy it now?
Me: That was my intention
Stand Owner: You must taste if first
Me: Ok [Lady hands me pinkish-dark red meat on a tooth pick] 
Stand Owner: This whale is so fresh. It was just caught.
Me: Seriously?  Like you just got this right now?
Stand Owner: From the ocean to you to... where are you from?
Me: United States
Stand Owner: And you want to eat whale?

Needless to say, it was a memorable exchange (though, no where near the most bizarre I've had in Norway), but not as memorable as the whale tasted.  It was sweet and savory, but a cool touch.  Like Salmon Sashimi but much better.  

So yes, I ate whale and I liked it.  I also ate an Elk burger and that was not quite as enjoyable, but very tasty.  I would've eaten dodo bird eggs and Manatee steaks, but those stands weren't open.

I jokingly said that my latest dietary adventure made me a "monster", but it doesn't because it is the diet of the land where I live.  This holiday season, I got the gift of assimilation (well, sorta... I'm not doing lutefisk.  Sorry).

Alt for Norge

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