What Is the Taste of Whale? Is Whale Meat Delicious?

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The whale is the most well-known picture of the world’s biggest animal. Its mere physical enormity is enough to send shivers down your spine.


Whales, it turns out, aren’t only popular because of their massive physical size. In fact, in several culinary traditions throughout the globe, it is considered a delicacy.

Whale flesh is revered in Japan, and it is one of their (secret) culinary treasures.

While they are not as widely accessible as other traditional staple meats, they are likely to appear on a menu if you visit to Japan, Iceland, or perhaps Norway.

If you had the means, you could even attempt preparing one.

So, how does whale flesh taste? And how should it be prepared?

What exactly is whale meat?

Whale meat is a large category of meat that mostly comprises the cetacean family. Dolphins, porpoises, and whales are all members of this family of edible whales.

Apart from that, whale flesh is a catch-all phrase for any vital (meaty) element of the fish, such as organ meat, muscle, or lipids.

Whale flesh is used for a variety of reasons in numerous culinary cultures throughout the world. In Japan, for example, whale flesh eating is an old ritual and a rare delicacy.

Yet, owing to restricted meat supply in other locations, such as Iceland and Norway, whale meat is more of a required choice.

What Is the Taste of Whale? Is Whale Meat Delicious?

Since whale flesh is considered a delicacy in many cultures and is forbidden in others, not many individuals can claim to have eaten it.

Despite this, a small number of individuals who have had whale flesh report it as tasting comparable to moose or reindeer meat. Apart from that, it is recognized for having a particularly chewy consistency.

Since whales are mammals, their true flavor is more akin to other basic meats like beef than to their other aquatic counterparts like swordfish.

It is important to note that just a few whale species are both optimal and safe for ingestion. The Minke whale is the most popular species of whale in Japan.

Whale meat is nutritionally equivalent to shark meat owing to its high fat content. The nutritional qualities of minke whale, in particular, set it apart from other fish foods.

How Do You Prepare Whale Meat?

Whale flesh is considered differently in different parts of the globe.

Yet, the most thorough way of preparing whale flesh is found in Japanese culture. From before 800 AD, the flesh has been used in Japanese cuisine.

Whale flesh is often divided into two parts: tail meat and belly meat. Tail meat, also known as unesu, is often made as white bacon. On the other hand, tail meat, also known as onomi, is often consumed as tataki or sashimi.

In Norway, whale flesh is cooked in a pot to make an unique broth and eaten with vegetables, potatoes, and flatbrod (traditional bread).

Apart from the usual cooking methods mentioned above, there are several unique whale meat dishes that you may attempt yourself.

Additionally, before embarking on a whale-cooking effort, bear the poisonous nature of the animal in mind. Whales, like other carnivorous marine creatures, have significant levels of mercury, which is toxic to humans.

It is also not advisable to consume raw whale flesh, at least if it has not been processed by a professional.


Whale meat is unquestionably one of the most unique foods available.

It provides a lot of nutritional advantages, which are quite significant in Japanese culture.

If you’re tired of cooking the same old tuna or salmon, whale meat is something you should certainly look into, if it’s accessible in your area. If you’re sick of eating,


What do whale meat taste like?

Whale flesh is not like fish since it is a mammal, but rather a highly gamey form of beef or even venison. ‘The flavor is distinct from meat. ‘Whale meat is more soft than beef and easier to stomach,’ said Mrs Ohnishi, adding that it had additional advantages.

Is whale meat good to eat?

Nowadays, however, eating any raw animal may be hazardous since it may include pathogenic germs and parasites. Moreover, eating whale meat may pose health hazards owing to its high mercury concentration.

What is the best tasting whale meat?

Onomi. This is most likely the most sought-after whale cut. The flesh near the base of the tail fin is marbled, making it ideal for sashimi or frying as a steak. This section of the whale melts in your mouth and has the texture of tuna.

Why is whale meat not edible?

Whales no longer live in a clean environment because humans have contaminated it with chemicals that accumulate in their tissues. Consumption of whale flesh, regardless of quantity, may expose people to harmful pollutants.

Can you buy whale meat in the US?

No. Anybody, even Alaska Natives, is prohibited from purchasing or selling bowhead whale or Cook Inlet beluga whale flesh or muktuk.

Is it illegal to eat whale meat in the US?

Many people may find the practice unpleasant. Yet, certain areas, such as the Arctic, the Faroe Islands, Norway, Iceland, and Japan, continue to slaughter and consume whales, despite worldwide criticism. In the United States, however, the selling of whale flesh is prohibited.

How much does whale meat cost?

According to Statista, a market statistics organization, the most affordable choice for whale meat would be the equivalent of around a pound of bacon in the United States, which costs about $7.21 as of 2021.

What is whale meat called?

The meat, marketed as “whacon,” was characterized as “corned whale flesh with its fishy flavor eliminated,” and was almost similar to corned beef, albeit “brownish instead of red.” The Food Ministry emphasized the strong nutritious content of the product.

Why is whale meat black?

“The reason whale flesh is so black is because it contains myoglobin, which can store oxygen.”

How much is a pound of whale meat worth?

The real wholesale price is $17 per pound, with an average retail price of about $64 per pound in the Tokyo region. The letter further claims that “under the pretense of scientific study, the Japanese whaling business continues to slaughter hundreds of minke whales every year, only to sell the flesh for exorbitant prices.”

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