November 11, 1914: Grytviken: A Banquet with the whalers

–from Endurance expedition cook’s account “The Antarctic Chef: The Story of the Life of Charles Green”–

“We invited some of the people of South Georgia to come aboard for a banquet. We only had tinned meat, boiled mutton, and things like that. So they promised to send us a leg of pork. Well, I got ready preparing the garnishes, sage and onions, apple sauce, and stuff like that. . . .but the pork never came. Earlier I had been experimenting with a piece of whale meat to get it white—so, as they were all ready and waiting, I started to serve this up instead.

“Later, Dr. Macklin came out of the cabin and said, ‘They are praising your dinner, Chef. You have cooked that pork better than their own chef could.’

“’But You haven’t had any pork, Doctor!’ I said.

“’You’re a liar, we have.’ he replied.

“I said, ‘Come along to the galley. Have you ever seen a square leg of pork> Look at that!’

“’What’s that, then?’ he said.

“’That’s a piece of whale meat,’ I replied.

“He went back and told the Manager of the Whaling Station that the promised leg of portk had never arrived. ‘It must have,’ said the Manager. ‘We’ve all eaten it. No one tells me that it was whale meat!’

“As soon as they realised what they had eaten, they suddenly were all vomiting. They would never eat whale meat on the island! Somehow I had managed to get it that white. I’ve never been able to do it again.”

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