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"They ate fish after fish. Alvarenga stuffed raw meat and dried meat into his mouth, hardly noticing or caring about the difference."

Fine detail born out of other survivors of long sea voyages, when eating fish don't skip they "eyes".

"Another unlikely luxury are fish eyes, which are a useful source of liquid and of another vital nutrient. Maurice and Maralyn Bailey, a British couple who survived 117 days on a rubber life raft in the Pacific in 1973, did not initially understand why they sought them, Tipton said: "They found they started to crave fish eyes, which is not something one would normally do. It wasn't until after the voyage they realised these are quite rich in vitamin C, which is something you get depleted in when you're adrift, and can of course cause scurvy." [0]

I remember reading about the how the Baileys who survived 117 days in the pacific in '73. There is a lot more details in Tiptons, "Essentials of Sea Survival". [1] Another detail, was solid boat. Had Alvarenga been in a life raft, he would have been a lot more battered and bruised. The Baileys suffered from sharks regularly bumping the raft throughout their ordeal.

[0] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/04/castaway-jose-s...

[1] http://www.amazon.co.uk/Essentials-Sea-Survival-Frank-Golden...

Interesting how cultural perspectives differ on this.

As a Chinese American, I wouldn't think twice about eating the eyes of a fish. They're tasty!

Yup, a bit like caviar in texture and taste, I find, but sweeter.

Sheep eyes, on the other hand, are disturbing as they balefully glare at you from your bowl of soup.

People make sheeps heads soup?

(They're supposed to be salted and dried then cooked for Sunday dinner (skjelte) or even better smoked over open fire, then cooked (smalahove) and eaten at party with friends.)

Agreed. Fish head curry is very popular in Singapore, and the eyes are in there as part of the sauce. You wouldn't even notice. Tasty stuff.

"As a Chinese American, I wouldn't think twice about eating the eyes of a fish."

The advantage of coming from a strong, older culture. "Head to tail" is a new (old & forgotten) thing in western (I'm thinking Anglo, UK, Aus) ... something SE Asian cultures (and others) haven't forgotten.

I wonder if in the past in was major source of VitC for certain fishing subcultures. So, people thinking it gross got sick and failed to reproduce or simply taught others "fish eye a day keeps the rotting gums away".

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