Seal brain, penguin breasts off Antarctic menus
Mon Jan 26, 2009
By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent
ROTHERA BASE, Antarctica – Once the “delicacies of the Antarctic,” fresh seal brains, penguin eggs or grilled cormorant are off the menu at research bases where chefs rely on imported and often frozen food.
“You have to use what you’ve got in the store. Frozen stuff, tinned stuff and if you’re really desperate the dried stuff,” said Alan Sherwood, a widely praised chef at the British Rothera base on the Antarctic Peninsula.
“We’re now onto dried onions because we’ve run out,” he said. “You can’t just go out and buy some.”
Rothera gets most of its supplies by ship twice a year — in December and March — with the occasional flight from Chile.
The 1959 Antarctic Treaty sets aside the continent as a nature reserve devoted to peace and science and bases have over the years stopped eating fresh wildlife. Seals were shot at Rothera for dog food until 1994 when dogs were banned from Antarctica to protect the environment.
But a 1950s recipe book at the base run by the British Antarctic Survey gives an insight into life as it used to be, with staff making penguin egg omelettes or cooking seal hearts.
This video is about a gentoo penguin and killer whales.