I found this video on my camera the other day, which reminded me of the funniest moment of our kayak trip to Baffin Island. Martin, also known as my husband, also known as a man most keen to catch a fish, was excited about his first trip to the Arctic, and thus his first opportunity to catch Tariugmiutaq, which is the Inuit word for Arctic Char. If you’ve never had a chance to eat Arctic Char, you haven’t fully lived yet. This fresh water fish spends most of its time living in northern lakes and rivers, with occasional migrations to the sea. It is considered one of the best choices for sustainable seafood, which is important to me, but mainly its my favorite fish because of its incomparably delicious taste, described as between trout and salmon.
Martin spent a good deal of time fishing on our trip, and one day caught this green beauty.
At this point, someone in our group, who shall remain nameless, aided by someone else, who shall also remain nameless, (because those of you who know me understand I would never encourage such behavior), convinced Peter and Martin that it was an ancient Inuit tradition to eat the eyeballs of the first fish caught by a hunter. (Kurtis didn’t really believe this story, but a couple of Inuit guys had played the very same trick on him, so the possibility remains that it is in fact true…) Peter, I suspect due to his good nature, was game to give it a try, and Martin, who is of course a Spaniard, and thus used to eating all sorts of weird and wonderful animal parts, is decidedly not squeamish, so he didn’t need much convincing. (Thankfully Arctic Char have only two eyeballs so I was not required to participate. So sad about that.)
Here is a video of the big event, Peter and Martin practicing an ancient and enduring male rite of passage: (Note: the Spaniard is not cheating, he just accidentally dropped his eyeball on the beach at the beginning.)
Unfortunately the video ends a bit too soon. I was laughing too hard to continue. Don’t be fooled by the mild expression on Peter’s face. He felt horribly ill and spent a prolonged while retching, which you are probably quite thankful you didn’t see in any case. Apparently it was unbearably squishy, except for the hard cartilaginous lens. Martin seemed to suffer no ill effects whatsoever. And thus, great memories are born.
We ate the fish for dinner and he was magnificent.