2007_09_FoodExplorers.jpgFor some reason we've had a thing about Antarctic expeditions and libations lately. It all started with an evening of Antarctic cuisine at the Explorer's Club last week sponsored by Redwood Creek Wines.

The five-item dinner called Culinary Revivals was held to honor Sir Ernest Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1914-1916). Clockwise from top left the, er, delicacies featured were Tantalizing Turtle Bisque, Argentinean Ostrich, South American Prairie Hare and Pheasant Breast Pâté. In the center is Pemmican Pudding. This last item is not a dessert, but rather a common expedition foodstuff consisting of dried buffalo meat, honey, currants and bacon.

Prior to the dinner we had surmised that Antarctic cuisine consisted of permafrost and whale blubber smoothies. All kidding aside, the food which was prepared by Gene Rurka, the club's exotic food's chairman wasn't half bad. Our favorites were the turtle bisque and the Pheasant Breast Pâté, though we do find it somewhat unlikely that Sir Shackleton and his men were eating pâté on their expedition. Renowned polar historian T.H. Baughman gave a fascinating account of how Shackleton rescued his men and pointed out that the Pemmican Pudding wasn't entirely authentic. The version Shackleton and his men ate would most likely have been covered in dirt. While there were several suggested pairings for the exotic foodstuffs, Gothamist stuck to the Pinot Noir.

Now that we've learned of the existence of Endurance Pale Ale, another alcoholic beverage that's linking it's brand to Antarctic explorers, we can only wonder what's next. Can a wave of Antarctic-themed tapas bars be far behind?