No shit, I ate whale. I should probably elaborate more on that. Normally, when traveling, my wife takes thousands of photos and I take hours of video. The videos and photos usually speak for themselves, especially since I'm not known for talking. Also, there is still the issue of summarizing an adventure like two weeks in Japan verbally in 60 seconds or less. It's almost insulting. Long story short (too late), my posts regarding food porn or travel porn have been sporadic at best.
I should skip past the bouncy mood my wife and I were in when we set foot in Narita to the point of screaming "YATTA" in front of every ice cream and Pocari Sweat vending machine. I should also skip the bouncing in the hotel. What matters is our trip to "downtown" Narita for our first real meal that wasn't pyramid shaped. We stumbled on the Kawai Building near the bus stop where we entered pretty much a Japanese all-night pub. For now, picture Benihana meets Bennigan's meets the Purple Shamrock. Our Japanese was just as broken as the owner's English. There was at least English in the menu. Being somewhat of a bar menu, there was variety from sushi to deep fried confectionery treats. As a result, my travel log contains the following sentence: "Welcome to Japan, where you can have your whale raw, fried, or frozen."
I should make a few notes before I get to the actual consumption. Of course, the menu did not specify what species of whale that patrons have the privilege of eating. It's not like one wants to keep track of the subtle differences between sperm whale and orca. My wife, being the vegetarian that she is, had that "all yours" look on her face; she was more than content with a decent helping of tofu skins and warm tamago (sweet sushi omlette). Yes, typical visions of Moby Dick, Monstro, Fudgie, George and Gracie flooded my brain when I ordered. For Star Trek movie fans, we are living in the century in which whales of all kinds are scheduled to become extinct. If then-Admiral James Kirk and Spock read this 280 years from now, I apologize for the probe. Take comfort in the fact that (1) the whale was already dead when I ordered, and (2) you get to say, "double dumbass on you."
The whale I ordered was in the form of deep fried nuggets. In Japan, deep fried meats tasted lighter than what I would normally have from Chinese take-out orders. (Pu Pu Hot Pot comes to mind.) The dish had the appearance of sesame beef. The taste was a fusion of beef and sushi-grade tuna. Tender, yet slight fishy with that acidic flavor that you get from standard sashimi. It makes sense considering the nature of the aquatic mammal. It wasn't gamey compared to meats like kangaroo or guinea pig that I also ate courtesy of bester and tiurin (long story).
The fact remains that it was a one-shot deal. We were caught in the moment of being in an exotic location with exotic options to eat. I had an open mind and an empty stomach to try new foods. Would I do it again? Hard to say considering that it will be a while before I venture into the Far East again.