JellyFish Facts

Eating Jellyfish

Eating Jellyfish picture

Eating Jellyfish

Jellyfish is a weird creature that has intrigued mankind for many years. It is found in almost all the saline waters of the world and certain species are there which live in fresh waters as well. There are 200 different varieties and each has its own color and size. The basic shape of a jelly fish is a dome or a bell, and has tentacles hanging underneath. It is a marine animal which is a predator and is carnivorous. The tentacles help to trap the different marine organisms when it is floating in the water. It mainly feeds on the zooplankton, crustaceans, small fishes and larvae. The tentacles have a nasty sting which will either paralyse or kill the prey.

Although the jellyfish is eaten by many people around the world, the initial reaction is of dread and revulsion, at the prospect of eating a jellyfish. The fear is because most of the jellyfish have venomous stings, and people feel that they will be eating something poisonous. Well, one need not have this fear, because the jellyfish which is available in the market is processed in salt and alum, which totally neutralises all the venom. In fact this process is necessary to preserve the jellyfish, because it will spoil very fast, once it is taken out of the water.

The body of the jellyfish is made up of a gelatinous substance which is 95% water. The prospect of eating a jellyfish, brings to mind this unappetising form and people are generally put off by it. The first reaction most people have is that the jellyfish has an absolutely bland taste. In fact the taste in not identifiable. The other thing is the texture, which is rubbery and wet. People who expected some bizarre taste and stinging sensations in their throats are sort of letdown by the insipid and benign experience. As for most foods, eating a jellyfish is an acquired taste and can take a while to get used to.

Another important aspect of the flesh of a cooked jellyfish is that it can take on the predominant flavours of the dish. So if the jellyfish is marinated in the usual vinegars and soy sauce, it will have that flavour and taste exactly like the sauce. If the jellyfish is included in a salad then if will stand out as a bland tasting meat, in the assortment of other meats which have their unique flavours.

A story has been recently reported of how two teenagers who had got swept out to the sea in South Carolina, managed to survive for six days, eating seaweed and jellyfish. Their sailing boat was 100 miles off course and they were totally marooned in the middle of the sea. They managed by eating raw jellyfish and seaweed. Under the circumstances it was the right thing to do as the jellyfish would have provided them with fluids also, or they would have died of dehydration.

The Stomolophus meleagris or the cannonball jellyfish is the most preferred in dishes, as they are larger and have more rigid bodies than the other jellyfish. They also have a high nutritional content and is considered a health food.

Learn more about Jellyfish, different Jellyfish Species, general Jellyfish Information, Jellyfish Pets and Jellyfish Safety

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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