May 17, 1912: Seal’s Brain

–from Raymond Priestley’s account, published as “Antarctic Adventure”–

“Thus it will be seen that both penguin and seal supply a certain number of changes if they are used judiciously, but the principal luxury we obtained from this source still remains to be named:  seal’s brain.  It was Abbott’s idea.  Curiously enough Antarctic expeditions had never used seal’s brain as an article of diet before; at any rate they have never recorded it as being used.

“On May 17, following a suggestion from Abbott that seal’s brain ought to be as good as sheep’s brain, I walked down to the icefoot and with my ice-axe I cut the top off the head of one of the butchered seals.  I then chipped out the frozen brain with a chisel, collected the fragments in a tin, and carried them up to the cooks.  They were thrown into the hoosh as they were and allowed to heat up with it.

“The result was a revelation to us, and if I ever go South again I think seal’s brain will be come a regular item on the menu.”


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