When you hear the term “flipper dinner” what do you envision?
Perhaps you instantly think of a meal that is serenaded by that punk band “that formed in San Francisco, California in 1979, continuing in often erratic fashion until the mid-1990s, then reuniting in 2005.” (*cough* thank you Wikipedia *cough*)
Or you’re now elated because you envision a water-bound dinner that has that cute and lovable dolphin we all watched on TV attending a pool party.
And some of you may think I’m about to provide a lecture on the importance of consistent post-dinner oral hygiene as you are a loyal user of the Flipper toothbrush holder. (OK I’ll admit, the toothbrush holder was the only other thing on the 1st page of my “flipper” Google search besides the dolphin and that punk band…)
Well guess what – in Newfoundland and Labrador, the term “flipper dinner” involved the consumption of seal flippers.
Yes, yes I know – “oh it’s wrong… how can you do that… but the baby seals are so cute!” I’m not here to debate the moral issues some may have about this type of meal, instead I want to tell you about how yummy and tasty such a meal can be if you keep an open mind!
Last week Matt and I went to Flipper Dinner that was organized by my Dad’s Shriners group (you know, those guys that wear the red fez hats? My dad is one of them!). Neither Matt nor I have had flipper before and while my grandfather is a huge fan, my brother (who historically growing up was a picky eater) is a BIG fan of flipper. Even though my brother is currently living near the Boston area these days, just knowing he’s enjoyed flipper was a big selling point in my eyes (he is my big brother after all).
So my husband (who’s originally from Ontario) and I went with my grandparents and experienced seal flipper for the first time. Someone mentioned to Matt had flipper can be rather fishy tasting… I’ve heard it can be really oily… But we both agreed it was neither that evening. In fact, the most smell we could get from it was a faint liver-like aroma. Clearly the Shriners did something right.
Flipper is basically a dark meat and (in my opinion) tastes a lot like Turr (a small seabird more well known as a Common Murre). Now I’ll admit it was a rather rich meal and I certainly wouldn’t want to eat it every week, but overall I have no complaints about the experience and I’m really glad we went. In fact, if they do it again next year (and it’s a traditional fundraiser for a lot of churches and community groups in St. John’s), I’ll definitely want to attend this same one because they knew what they were doing.
I’ve asked around and there seems to be a trend that you either love flipper or hate it. And there’s a distinct separation amongst the flipper lovers on whether or not they’ll eat straight up flipper or if it has to be in the form of flipper pie (which sounds very nom nom nom to me!).
Either way, it was a lovely evening had by all. The fundraiser was a big hit and is now tucked away as a fun family memory. Here’s my dad as one of the excellent servers during the evening’s festivities.
Thanks for reading and I hope you won’t judge me too harshly on this recent meal decision.
To read about Matt’s experience with Flipper Dinner, check out his recent blog entry about it.
Have you ever had flipper? If not, would you if given the opportunity? If not, is there anything exotic or unique out there that you haven’t tried yet that has left a curiosity lingering in the back of your mind?