Dine Out Vancouver is coming up and Vancouverites are in for a few strange and delicious dishes this year. Edible Canada’s top chef Eric Pateman has decided that he wants to add a new kind of meat to Western Canada’s palate – Newfoundland Seal! He believes this will be the first time seal has been served in Vancouver.
He decided to create his Newfoundland Seal Pappardelle entree after experimenting with seal tacos, grilled seal hearts, and seal tourtiere. According to Pateman, Newfoundland seal tastes like a cross between Ahi tuna and moose meat – an interesting combination that works perfectly with a Bolognaise.
Pateman is both excited and nervous about his selection for Dine Out Vancouver….especially because of the controversy surrounding the Newfoundland seal hunt.
In fact, The Vancouver Humane Society has taken a hard stance against Edible Canada, stating that “VHS is urging Vancouverites to ask Edible Canada to remove the meat from its menu, as the commercial seal hunt is recognized around the world as inhumane. More than 95 per cent of the seals slaughtered in the hunt are less than three months old and many are less than a month old. They are killed by clubbing, shooting or hacking with a hakapik.”
Eric Pateman disagrees with VHS and is willing to put his money where his mouth is. This spring he plans to go and observe the hunt himself and at the moment he believes that the seal hunt is a sustainable practice. Harp seals have a population of 7.4 million and during last hunt only 35,000 were killed. As it stands, most seals are hunted for their soft fur and the meat is discarded without being used. Pateman thinks that using the meat is both a nod to Canada’s culture and also a smart way to prevent waste in our environment.
Pateman said, “We’re just literally looking at an ingredient that has historically been a primary source of food on the East Coast and in the Arctic for years, and we’re just trying to bring it to common people’s tables.”
What do you think? Would you ever want to try Pateman’s seal entree? Is the seal hunt necessary or is it a cruel tradition that we should get rid of? We’d love to hear your opinion below!