Madhouse at The End of the Earth: An Antarctic expedition that is doomed, madness, and penguin meat

madhouse at the end of the world: a doomed antarctic

“The soft, colorless drops that the men found on their plates every evening bore little resemblance to the dish that was promised on the label of the can. Most outrageous were Kjøttboller, the spongy meatballs de Gerlache bought in Norway … To vary the flavors, Michotte [the appointed “chef”I used to mix the cans together and make a nondescript dish that was less than the sum of its parts.

For six months, all they could look forward to was dinner. It was getting hard to take even that.

They prepared a platter with penguin meat as the only game in town. “It tasted like chicken and fish, with a game scent,” they said. They decided to never eat it again. It takes a few more weeks before men start to notice a decline in their health. Their heartbeats increased and decreased, some suffered from sagging bags under their eyes and lethargy. Roald Amundsen became very ill as the ship’s initial comrade.

Cook recognises that their symptoms are scurvy and they can die without fresh fruits, vegetables or meat. He convinces the Belgica brothers to try penguins with seal meat. Cook had previously spent time with Inuit on a previous, difficult trip to the Arctic. He found that they could survive the winter on bacon and meat, sometimes raw. Cook loved his lightly seared penguin steaks. However, he recommended that everyone try them.

Sancton says that Amundsen’s health was almost back to normal after only a few days of eating the Schnitzels. They were the consistency of undercooked, fatty chicken. They didn’t know that meat contained vitamin C, which is vital for collagen formation.

One of the many nightmares men face on the large, rat-infested vessel in the Antarctic ice is Scurvy. Rest of the issues are not covered in this food publication. To find out more, you only need to read the book.

Madhouse at the End of the World

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Amanda Litchford

Making delicious meals and researching products has inspired me as a stay at home mom to start this website in helping out others who don’t have the time or expertise in the kitchen.

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