Fourteen Sea Animals You Probably Didn't Know Were Edible
Some Eat These Too
As we go from one country to another, we are often times left dumbfounded upon realizing what animals are considered to be delicacies or main dishes in these countries. I oftentimes tell myself that if it is from the sea, I will probably take my chances, for the simple fact that the sea is ‘clean’ (contains salt water which washes away germs or keeps animals clean inside). But is it really so? And would we really eat just about anything from the sea? Well this article will be introducing you to fourteen sea animals which chances are, you had NO idea were edible. Bon Appétit, or maybe pass!
1: Sharks, yes sharks are high among the list of sea animals that you might not have known are edible. Sharks have been eaten in parts of the world by seafarers and local fishermen as a sign of prowess of sorts. It is also believed to boost men’s libido. In Iceland, it is said to be best to let the meat actually start to rot to enjoy it. Many of us are of the view that sharks are among the most dangerous sea animals, but if we can be hunting them for meat, maybe that is but a myth.
2: Whales are also high on our list of sea animals which you probably didn’t know you could eat. Now as if it wasn’t interesting enough that these whales were edible, imagine eating them raw! That’s right, whales are simply a must have in your sushi if you are ever to visit Japan, or a Japanese restaurant! In some other countries, whaling is a hunter's sport. It is suspected that this is how whales eventually landed on our dishes. The meat is quite an expensive delicacy; the tail or fluke meat is more expensive than the belly meat, fetching up to $600 per kilo. Some of these countries include Norway, Iceland, Siberia, Alaska and northern Canada. They mostly have annual whale hunts. However, the whales are becoming endangered in certain countries and as a result, a moratorium has been set up.
3: Crocodile: But then there is also the crocodile meat! Like sharks, crocodiles are believed in parts of the world to boost men’s libido and are also eaten as a sign of prowess. However, in some countries only the tail of the crocodile is consumed, leaving the body to simply be discarded. This practice is also illegal in most countries. Notwithstanding, crocodile meat is served pickled in Cuba and served as a delicacy in some parts of America, Thailand, China and South Africa.
4: Octopus is a sea animal that is consumed after careful preparation, to include boiling properly to get rid of the residual ink which is expelled as a defence mechanism against predators; it is also cleaned of the slime and horrible smell by boiling. Octopus can be prepared by itself or combined in a seafood mix. Octopus is also eaten raw with special sauces in Japan. There are many different types of octopus, which live at different parts of the ocean floor and on reeves, among other places in the sea. Many of them are also venomous, so preparation is not for the average man.
5: Squid is popular in Japan and known as Calamari in Britain and Mediterranean countries. It is also a delicacy and loved in many countries, albeit under a pseudonym of sorts. Like the octopus, there are also many species of squid which are the most highly fished (75.8%) among the cephalopoda class of which it is a part.
6: Cuttlefish: Though less eaten than squid, cuttlefish is popular in Italy and is also a member of the cephalopoda class. It is dried and shredded and served as a snack in parts of Asia. Despite its name coming from its unique inner shell, its cuttlebone, cuttlefish are not by any means in the fish category, but are instead, mollusks.
7: Sea Turtles have long been consumed in different parts of the world, however, the population is fast becoming critically low and as such, many of its species have become endangered, leading to the activity being illegal in many countries. Sea turtles can be herbivorous, carnivorous or omnivorous, depending on the species and are also dried and shredded in parts of Asia and served as a snack.
8: Pterois or Lionfish is a sea predator and parasite which threatens the fish population as it eats large amounts of baby fish and mollusks. However, as a means of fighting against this problem, they were introduced as a delicacy which soon spread in certain countries. Because of its poisonous fins, however, many people don't bother to go through the trouble of preparing this delicacy which is said to taste better than snapper.
9: Dolphins, I know! That’s just sad eating Free Willy and all, but it is true! Dolphin meat is also consumed in parts of the world, to include Japan. It is also said to be an important source of food for the people of Nunavut. Dolphins are related to the whale family and also have approximately forty species. They feed mostly on squids and fish. If you are sensitive towards dolphins, be sure to find out what is in your seafood mix when travelling to these parts of the world.
10: Manatee meat is said to adapt readily to recipes for beef. In fact, the manatee is known as the cattle of the sea or sea cow and is mostly eaten in parts of West Africa, despite mostly being illegal. Manatees are mostly herbivorous and there are three recognized species of the four species of manatees that formerly existed.
11: Sea Lions are consumed in parts of Alaska. While there is little evidence to say where else sea lions are consumed, if you search, you will find recipes to prepare this delicacy which is said to be a bit chewy. Believed to be stemming from the bear and possible family, the name sea lion is a tad bit misleading as it has little to do with lions. There are six extant and one extinct species of sea lions.
12: Jellyfish is mostly harvested in Southeast Asia for food and has to undergo a rigorous process which can take up to forty days, before being ready for consumption. The are found throughout the ocean, from the very deep to the surface and use their tentacles to capture prey.
13: Krill are like baby shrimp, except that they have many tiny legs and external gills. If you love shrimp, you’ll absolutely love krill, despite the fact that they are usually used as fish bait, possibly because they are under discovered as great seafood. The truth is, many animals are highly dependent on Krill for survival and humans had previously discovered the highly touted Krill Oil. Now we have simply discovered that which the birds and the fish had known all along. Krill is known as Janga in some countries and is a fun beginner's meal for kids who frequent the sea and rivers where they are also usually in abundance.
14: Starfish in China is deep fried and served on a stick. Now if you have had any experience with starfish while at the beach, you’d probably be thinking ‘but isn’t that a shell of sorts for the most part?’ Well apparently so are crabs, yet there is plenty of meat to be had. Starfish also boast many different species: over 1500 and feed on small animals, decomposing organic material or faecal matter.