Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

penguin a flightless bird of which there are many species in antarctic waters. Although their appearance is so familiar (and people in the western world are often reminded of it by, for example, buying the paperback edition of a book or eating in a very old-fashioned restaurant or observing at social functions those few Englishmen who still dress up to look like either waiters or penguins—it is never clear which), the sight of a real penguin in its black and white livery is always exciting; and the study of the social behaviour of these birds is full of interest. Penguins are not often thought of as a source of food, but do provide edible meat. André Simon (1983) cites a description of the last Christmas Day dinner enjoyed by Captain Scott in the S. Pole ice pack, which included ‘an entrée of stewed penguin’s breasts and red currant jelly—the dish fit for an epicure and not unlike jugged hare’.