Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It's Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, a way for millions of Americans to cap off their summer beach holidays with frightening tales of shark attacks and ominous studies of predatory migrations.

As you sit in front of your television this week wondering how best to protect yourself from a possible shark attack, consider this, 70 million sharks are hunted and killed each year, and yet only 60-80 humans are attacked by sharks. And although sharks have been added to the Greenpeace list of no-kill species, these finned ferocities still land belly-up on many exotic menus the world over.

In Iceland and Greenland shark meat is served fermented (or rotten, to put it bluntly) and is known as Hakarl. Hakarl takes on a cheesy, ammonia taste that many say is acquired and difficult to stomach if you haven't acclimated your taste buds to the unique flavor.

In China shark meat is used in shark-fin soup. A gelatinous delicacy that also takes some getting used to if you're unfamiliar with it.

Here in the U.S. shark meat is typically served as Mako, a boneless steak resembling the texture and tastes of swordfish, and it is said to be quite delicious. The most popular ways to cook Mako is in steaks, as ceviche with fresh citrus flavors, or on kebabs.

As for the ethical question as to whether or not sharks should be eaten, we leave that decision up to you. After watching Shark Week we think it's safe to say "eat or be eaten" is a most appropriate anecdote for today's article.

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