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Arctic Delicacy: What Does Raw Beluga Whale Taste Like?

Among different species of whales, the beluga is quite the center of fascination.

It is mainly due to the lack of a dorsal fin and its white coloring.

Rarely will you come across a sea mammal with color.

It’s not surprising that this cetacean has become well-known due to its unique features.

There is more to it which is discussed further below.

Are you wondering if this whale is edible? The answer is yes.

The natives of Alaska, Russia, Greenland, and Canada hunt it.

Its skin and blubber are used for making muktuk, which is raw.

Now the question is, what does raw beluga whale taste like?

Read on as we reveal its taste profile and other crucial aspects related to it.

What is Beluga Whale?

The Beluga whale is a native of the Arctic and sub-Arctic region belonging to the Monodontidae family.

It’s a two-member family consisting of a beluga and a narwhal.

It’s also known for its wide vocal range, precisely high-pitched calls, thus earning them the title sea canary.

They’re found across the Arctic and sub-Arctic waters globally.

This whale migrates and hunts in the group.

They also often communicate with each other.

It’s a toothed whale, but they don’t chew but swallow their prey instead.

Another fascinating fact about this whale is that it can swim backward.

Its skin and blubber are consumed raw, which has been a nutritious snack and traditional food of the Arctic people.

The meat part of the whale is cooked in different ways.

What Does Raw Beluga Whale Taste Like?

Beluga whale’s skin and blubber are consumed raw, while the meaty part is often cooked.

It’s a delicacy of Inuit inhabiting the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions.

Commonly called muktuk, it’s known for its oily and nutty flavor.

The raw skin, blubber, and sometimes cartilage are also cooked, pickled, or frozen.

For a first-timer, the taste of raw beluga might be overwhelming.

It has a creamy flavor which is mainly from the blubber.

Its skin is chewy and bouncy with a hint of oceanic taste.

A taste of the sea, to be precise.

However, it requires an acquired taste to enjoy this food.

People who have tasted this food compare it to eggs and coconut.

Some even say it’s similar to avocados, probably due to its nutty texture.

It also leaves a milky aftertaste when chewing them.

Overall, it has a distinct flavor that may not be appealing initially.

Beluga skin has a rubbery texture and is quite bland.

Some people season it with salt to enhance the flavor.

Its blubber is soft and delicate, with a good amount of fats that melt in your mouth like butter.

It’s also often served with HP sauce, a well-known British sweet and sour condiment.

The nutritional value is also outstanding in this food.

It’s an excellent source of Vitamin C, while the blubber is rich in Vitamin D.

Is It Illegal to Eat Raw Whale Beluga?

It’s not considered illegal, but the population of this species has been affected negatively due to human activity.

Industrialization, oil production, and shipping create different types of pollution.

Since this whale species communicates often, it affects the ability to connect due to noise pollution.

Sport and commercial hunting of this mammal is banned as it poses a threat to its population.

However, natives of Alaska still hunt this whale for clothing, handicrafts, and food.

Due to over-industrialization, there is a risk of food contamination.

The mercury level in muscles, liver, and bubbler as the whale grows.

A harvest management plan was introduced in 2005 to avoid the overfishing of this mammal and protect its population.

You may eat this whale, but be wary of the rules and regulations set by the authority.

There might be different rules as per the country.

So, it would be wise to do proper research if you plan to hunt this mammal.

Besides, you can visit fish factories where muktuk is commercially sold.

If you have yet to taste raw beluga, get it from these factories.


Beluga is an extraordinary-looking whale that has fascinated humans for its distinct look.

The white color skin, lack of dorsal fin, and high-pitched are some of the characteristics that stand them out from other sea mammals.

Its skin and blubber are primarily consumed among the indigenous people, mainly from the Arctic and Alaska regions.

The taste of raw beluga skin and blubber may not have a wide taste appeal due to its distinct flavor.

It requires an acquired taste to enjoy this food.

Although it’s not considered illegal to have this whale, various measures have been regulated to protect its population.

Whether you like to taste this whale or not, it’s up to you.

If you do, act responsibly and adhere to rules and regulations set by the authority.

What Does Raw Beluga Whale Taste Like? Does it Taste Good?

Intrigued by the taste of raw beluga whale? Explore its flavor characteristics and whether it's considered palatable.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Food Taste
Servings 1 Serving


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