The Boar and the Whale
You know, I think I complain too much about having to live in
Anyway, I’ve since found out that the guy is a hunter and tends to invite people over after he has managed to kill a rare or delicious animal. So when he invited us over yesterday, I knew that we were in for a treat.
The day’s menu turned out to be soba noodles with a broth of wild boar. You heard me, wild fucking boar. The slices of boar looked and tasted much like pork but the broth had a really rich taste to it unlike any pork broth I’ve ever tasted. It was absolutely delicious.
To make soba, you start out with the noodles themselves, which are loaded into a net. While all soba noodles are made with buckwheat, different seasonings can be added to create different flavors. I’m pretty sure that the green ones are chasoba (flavored with green tea powder) but I’m not sure how the darker ones are made.
The noodles are then soaked in a pot of boiling water for a second or two and then strained before they are placed in a bowl. The broth (in this case, a wild boar broth) is then added on top of the noodles with a ladle.
Here’s the final product, topped with chopped spring onions, seaweed and chili powder for good measure.
And here’s the full spread. He had also made tofu, something like fried rice and some pickled vegetables to compliment the meal. Wait, what’s that meat?
Oh, that? That’s just whale sashimi. Now, you’re probably asking yourself how that’s possible when commercial whaling was banned internationally in 1982. Well, to put things quite simply, the Japanese government obtained a special permit to harvest a limited number of whales for “research purposes”. And this is the product of that
delicious important research. Despite the fact that what I was eating was most likely an endangered species, I really didn’t think that it was all that great, primarily because it was still frozen and tasted just like shaved ice to me. I guess I just don’t have a well-trained enough pallet though because all of my co-workers couldn't stop raving about how delectable it was.
After we had all eaten our fill, we sat around and discussed other exotic meats such as raccoon and that old Momoishi favorite, dog. When I asked Tachibana-San if he thought that dog was tasty, he started scratching his head and mumbling nervously. “We eat dog,” answered the young man seated to the left of me, “but we don’t talk about it”. He then took a brief survey, asking “Who here has eaten dog?” and everyone in the shed raised their hands except for the two of us. The hunter eyed us inquisitively and then grunted to himself. One thing is certain: whoever said that there's no such thing as a free lunch clearly did not live in Oirase.