Here's how this went: We were going to tell you about this weird plan in Britain to secretly videotape everybody who buys cigarettes and alcohol. Creepy! But then we got distracted looking at these adorable pictures of penguin-shaped dumplings, and almost immediately started wondering what penguin meat actually tastes like. Ever seen it on a menu? Yeah, us neither.
There are a lot of joke sites out there regarding penguin meat. Apparently people think it is funny to eat the little creatures, and granted, it sort of is. After sorting through "press releases" from the Goliath Corp and the embarrassingly named Bud Ice Freedom Fighters, we discovered that penguins are actually protected and United States citizens are specifically prohibited from eating them.
But that doesn't mean people haven't. This account of an early Antarctic expedition cites Dr. Fredrick A. Cook, ship's surgeon of the Belgica, a Belgian ship captained by Adrien de Gerlache, which sailed from Antwerp in 1897: "If it's possible to imagine a piece of beef, odiferous cod fish and a canvas-backed duck roasted together in a pot, with blood and cod-liver oil for sauce, the illustration would be complete."
Another account, of the 1902-1904 Scottish Naval Antarctic Expedition aboard the Scotia, gave a more optimistic mention of penguin meat: "Once the unusual taste of penguin meat had become familiar, it proved to be a great favourite: fried and stewed, or as a basis for soup and curry."
Overall, though, penguin doesn't seem to have caught on in the least with those not on Antarctic expeditions. That's fine by us. They sound gross and impractical. We'll take a balut any day.
London Supermarket Secretly Videotapes Alcohol/Cigarette Buyers [Boing Boing]
Photo Of The Day: Penguin Dumplings [Required Eating]
Penguin latest food - available in abundance soon [Goliathcorp]
Antarctic Explorers: Adrien de Gerlache [South-Pole.com]
Voyage of the Scotia 1902-04 [Glasgow Digital Library]
Photo: Men with dogs and a cage of penguins at the bow of an ice-bound ship, 1902-1904 [Glasgow Digital Library]