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SallyGrowler

How to cook a whale-steak by the expert:

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Mr. Stubb:

 

Stubb was a high liver; he was somewhat intemperately fond of the whale as a flavorish thing to his palate.A steak, a steak, ere I sleep! You, Daggoo! overboard you go, and cut me one from his small!

 

---yet now and then you find some of these Nantucketers who have a genuine relish for that particular part of the Sperm Whale designated by Stubb; comprising the tapering extremity of the body.

 

About midnight that steak was cut and cooked; and lighted by two lanterns of sperm oil, Stubb stoutly stood up to his spermaceti supper at the capstan-head, as if that capstan were a sideboard.

---

Cook, said Stubb, rapidly lifting a rather reddish morsel to his mouth, don't you think this steak is rather overdone? You've been beating this steak too much, cook; it's too tender. Don't I always say that to be good, a whale-steak must be tough? There are those sharks now over the side, don't you see they prefer it tough and rare? What a shindy they are kicking up!

Cook, go and talk to 'em; tell 'em they are welcome to help themselves civilly, and in moderation, but they must keep quiet. Blast me, if I can hear my own voice. Away, cook, and deliver my message. Here, take this lantern, snatching one from his sideboard; now then, go and preach to 'em!

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Now, cook, said Stubb, resuming his supper at the capstan; Stand just where you stood before, there, over against me, and pay particular attention.

....Come back, cook; --here, hand me those tongs; --now take that bit of steak there, and tell me if you think that steak cooked as it should be? Take it, I say --holding the tongs towards him -- take it, and taste it. Faintly smacking his withered lips over it for a moment, the old negro muttered, Best cooked 'teak I eber taste; joosy, berry joosy.

 

...

Well then, cook; you see this whale-steak of yours was so very bad, that I have put it out of sight as soon as possible; you see that, don't you?

 

Well, for the future, when you cook another whale-steak for my private table here, the capstan, I'll tell you what to do so as not to spoil it by overdoing.

 

Hold the steak in one hand, and show a live coal to it with the other; that done, dish it; d'ye hear?

 

And now to-morrow, cook, when we are cutting in the fish, be sure you stand by to get the tips of his fins; have them put in pickle.

As for the ends of the flukes, have them soused, cook.

 

There, now ye may go. But Fleece had hardly got three paces off, when he was recalled.

 

Cook, give me cutlets for supper to-morrow night in the mid-watch. D'ye hear? away you sail, then. --Halloa! stop! make a bow before you go. --Avast heaving again!

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