11+ Curiosities about What Penguins Taste Like

Penguin meat has a unique taste likened to beef, codfish, and duck, but the overall consensus is that it’s not delicious due to its fishiness and unpleasant texture.

what do penguins taste like 11+ Curiosities about What Penguins Taste Like

What do penguins taste like? If this thought has ever crossed your mind, you’re not alone! While we as humans eat a wide variety of animal meats, there are many species we do not consume, which can arouse some curiosity.

Price of Meat does remind readers that purchasing & consuming meat in violation of the Lacey Act or Endangered Species Act, or the Antarctic Treaty is not only super-illegal, but also super-uncool. This article is provided in good faith in the interest of human curiosity and historical food traditions. Please be cool and go above and beyond in support of conservation. Learn what you can do to support ocean conservation today.

Price of Meat Editorial Team

You can’t buy penguin meat at your local Whole Foods, but people from the past have tasted penguin meat, so we have some interesting information on the flavor and texture!

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What Does Penguin Meat Taste Like?

Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua) waddling along on a white sand beach.

What do penguins taste like? Penguin meat has a distinct and unusual flavor. People liken the taste to beef, codfish, and duck. It has the funky, fishy flavor of cod, the meaty, umami beef taste, and the gamey flavor of duck. Considering it’s a bird, the flavor is surprisingly different from other types of poultry, like chicken, turkey, and duck.

What Does Penguin Egg Taste Like?

Penguin eggs are super fishy and funky. Unlike chicken eggs and eggs from other birds, penguin eggs don’t have a rich, buttery, cheesy flavor. Instead, the egg white is supremely fishy and almost ripe in flavor. The yolk itself is equally fishy with a more robust and fatty flavor than the egg whites.

Does Penguin Meat Taste Good?

Flavor is subjective, but the consensus on penguin meat is that it’s not delicious. If you’re disappointed to learn eating penguins is illegal, don’t worry, you’re not missing much. The flavor notes of beef and duck sound appealing, but mixed with the pungent fishiness of cod and the almost spoiled taste, eating penguin meat is generally an unpleasant experience.

How do we know this? When explorers were still charting Antarctica, they killed and ate penguins to survive. And according to their reports, penguins are far from a gourmet protein.

Do Penguin Eggs Taste Good?

Again, most people who have eaten penguin eggs agree they taste unpleasant. While the penguin meats have umami and gamey notes that are interesting and maybe even enticing, people describe the flavor of penguin eggs as super fishy and not in a good way.

The smell resembles a piece of cod that’s been sitting on the counter too long and the funky smell is enough to induce nausea. The only thing people use penguin eggs for, if they can even get them, is a meringue-based dessert called pavlova.

What Is the Texture of Penguin Meat?

Penguin meat is often tough, oily, and fatty. All of these textures combine to create a disagreeable texture that is chewy but also slimy and leathery. The texture could be compared to a severely overcooked piece of beef or the gristle of fat on a cut of pork.

How Large Are Penguin Eggs?

two penguin eggs in a nest of straw

Penguin eggs, including the shell, can be as small as 3 centimeters in length or as large as 12 centimeters. They are usually larger than standard hen eggs and many compare the size to large goose eggs. 

Do Penguin Eggs Have Yolks?

All eggs have yolks, so, yes, penguin eggs also have yolks! The yolk is typically larger than a hen yolk, at least as large as a golf ball. It’s usually a more saturated and deep orange color, compared to the soft yellow or pale orange of a chicken egg yolk.

The egg white of a penguin egg is also fascinating. They look like chicken egg whites when raw, but when boiled or cooked, they do not turn white. Instead, the egg white remains clear, so you can see the yolk through the white if you boil a penguin egg! It’s kind of freaky!

Is it Legal to Eat Penguins?

Tourists photographing Gentoo Penguins (Pygoscelis papua) on Petermann Island on the Antarctic Peninsula

It is illegal to hunt, kill, or eat all penguin species.

The endangered status of most penguin species also makes hunting, killing, and eating penguins immoral to many. In 1959, the Antarctic Treaty made it illegal for people to kill penguins for any reason.

In the past, there may have been some exceptions for indigenous peoples, but penguins are one of the most protected genuses on the planet.

The Antarctic Treaty is not the only legislation in place to protect these fat, flightless birds. There is plenty of other legislation to protect all species of penguins. Here is a short, incomplete list.

Because penguins are not abundant across the globe, they’re hard to find, and every place they exist has legislation in place to protect them. Most of these laws protect penguins as well as penguin eggs.

Is Penguin Meat Nutritious?

There is little research about the nutritional value of eating penguin meat. It likely has the same level of nutrition as most poultry, as it can be a source of proteins and some nutrients. However, like most fish, penguin meat typically contains mercury because they eat fish as their main food source.

If you eat too much penguin meat, it can lead to mercury toxicity. But if you ever have the opportunity, trying penguin meat once should be perfectly safe as long as it’s prepared properly.

Are Penguin Eggs Nutritious?

Yes, penguin eggs are nutritious. They’re packed with more protein than chicken eggs but have about the same caloric content per ounce. They can be a decent source of healthy fats. So here’s the thing – if you are on an Antarctic mission and your rescue helicopter, ship, and overland teams all get blocked for weeks on end…you can seek out a penguin egg. I don’t think anyone will judge you. But outside of that situation, you’ll just have to wonder.

Can Muslims Eat Penguins?

The answer to this question is debatable. I mean – everyone is subject to the Antarctic Treaty, so no, they legally cannot consume penguin. But if you insist on asking Google pointless religious questions (which is where we pulled this question from)…here you go. Most Muslims agree that penguin meat is halal, therefore, acceptable for Muslims to eat.

However, what makes some halal versus haram is complex and involves many factors, such as the animal’s diet, the slaughter method, and more. But the general rule of thumb is that if something is not defined as haram in the Quran, it is likely halal.

Is Penguin Meat Expensive?

As discussed in depth, eating penguin meat is illegal, so selling penguin meat is also illegal. The odds of finding a store or vendor that sells penguin meat are low.

However, if you were to find penguin meat for sale on the black market or through an exotic and very sketchy vendor, expect it to be expensive in both dollars and years in jail. Any lawyer willing to fight your case is also going to charge a hefty Idiot Surcharge on top of their normal fees.

More FAQs about Penguins

Can humans eat penguin meat?

Humans cannot eat penguin meat because international protection legislation, such as the Antarctic Treaty and CITES, prohibits hunting penguins or their eggs. Although penguins are not toxic to humans, it is illegal to consume them due to these regulations.

Are penguins kosher?

Penguins are not considered kosher, along with storks, kingfishers, and other birds that consume fish.

Can a human touch a penguin?

A human cannot touch a penguin. Penguins are small birds that can be easily disturbed by human interaction, and they prefer not to have tourists intruding into their nests and attempting to handle them. So you know, enjoy the fact that penguins exist in this world. If you really want to touch a penguin, find a local Zoo and see if they have a training program in their veterinary unit.

Why can’t penguins taste fish?

Penguins cannot taste fish because their genomes lack the necessary taste genes for sweet, umami, and bitter flavors, as revealed by researchers decoding penguin genomes.

Can humans give any diseases to penguins?

Humans can transmit certain diseases to penguins, although it is uncommon. Influenza, mumps, salmonella, and ringworm are among the illnesses that can be passed from humans to penguins and other animal species. It’s quite a problem in Zoos.

Where can I find penguin meat?

You don’t want to know – seriously. It’s illegal and deeply uncool. We don’t know why people Google these questions.

How many penguins are left in the world?

The number of penguins left in the world is estimated to be around 30-31 million, spread across 18 different species. However, these magnificent creatures face numerous challenges such as climate change and fishing net entanglements, which pose a significant risk to their populations.

Can penguins fly in the air?

Penguins cannot fly in the air. Although they are birds and possess wings, the wing structures of penguins have evolved for swimming rather than traditional flight. Instead, penguins excel at swimming underwater, reaching impressive speeds of 15 to 25 miles per hour.

Are penguins scared of humans?

Penguins are not scared of humans due to their lack of land predators. This unique characteristic sets them apart from most other animals, as their usual predators are sea creatures. Consequently, penguins are not alarmed by the presence of humans. That means that humans have an extra responsibility to be cool, ethical, and generally leave them alone.

What do penguins taste of?

According to historical and indigenous sources, penguins taste like a combination of beef, pungent cod fish, and roasted canvas-backed duck, all cooked together in a pot, with a sauce made from blood and cod-liver oil. However, it is important to note that modern polar explorers no longer consume penguins unless they find themselves in a survival situation.

Is penguin meat good?

Penguin meat is not considered good due to its oily and fishy flavor, as penguins primarily consume krill and have a limited diet.

Can penguins be touched?

Penguins cannot be touched, as they are small birds that are vulnerable to human disturbance. They prefer to be left alone in their nests without any interference from tourists attempting to handle them.

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