Saturday, July 4, 2009

Chefs Serve Seal and Controversy

In the Au Cinquième Péché, a bistro in the neighborhood called the Plateau almost every table was sampling an appetizer plate that included a specialty of the restaurant’s French-born chef, Benoît Lenglet: a seared, rare loin, dark red in color, with a texture and taste akin to beef tenderloin. But the meat was not beef. It was seal. It's a controversial dish that has many satisfied customers.
Seal meat, yes the same sea mammals that are cute and cuddly looking and a pet cause of animal activists.

Seal has become quite the culinary delicacy in Canada, where it's served up seared and rare in fine restaurants, much like a loin of beef.
The restaurants in Canada that prepare seal have become major tourist attractions, perhaps because of a European Unionban on imports of commercially caught Canadian seal products.

While seal-hunting is the subject of heated debates and protests in Europe, Canada's governor general, Michaelle Jean, effectively thumbed her nose at the European ban just days after it passed, by eating on a piece of raw seal heart during a visit to an Inuit community feast in Rankin Inlet, in the far northern territory of Nunavut. Governor General Jean’s widely publicized snack seemed a direct retort to the European Union, an impression she did not try to dispel.
“Take from that what you will,” she said, when asked if she was sending a message to Europe.

Even though the French are against seal hunting, they want to eat it when they come to Canada.
Rebecca Aldworth director of the Humane Society in Canada, told the paper. “The restaurants aren’t the story here. The seal hunt is the story.”
Our poll "Would you try seal meat at a restaurant?" is on the sidebar. We will run the poll for a week, then we will get a better idea how you really feel about all this.

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