Many Faroese consider the whale meat an important part of their food culture and history.
Whale meat and blubber are Faroese delicacies. Well, in the 20th century, meat and blubber from the pilot whale were used to feed people for long periods of time. Everybody got a share, as is the custom to this day.
When fresh, the meat is boiled or served as steaks. A pilot whale steak is called in Faroese: grindabúffur. Whale meat with blubber and potatoes in their skins are put into a saucepan with salt and then boiled for an hour or so. Slivers of the blubber are also a popular accompaniment to dried fish.
The traditional preservation is by salting or outdoor wind-drying. The wind-drying takes around eight weeks. The salting is usually done by putting the meat, and the blubber in salt, a little bit of water can be added, it should be so salty, that a potato can float in it.
The meat and blubber can be eaten when needed; it can last for a very long time when lying in salt. It can not be eaten directly as it would be too salty, it must be “watered out” for one to 1½ day, it depends on how salty people like it.
After that the meat must be boiled, the blubber can be boiled or eaten as it is. Today many people also freeze the meat and the blubber, but the traditional way of storage is still practiced, particularly in the villages, and the food lasts longer that way.
The Faroese government did not forbid whaling. On 1 July 2011, the Faroese Food and Veterinary Authority announced their recommendation regarding the safety of eating meat and blubber from the pilot whale, which was not as strict as the one of the chief medical officer.
The new recommendation says only one dinner with whale meat and blubber per month, with a special recommendation for younger women, girls, pregnant women and breastfeeding women
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