Drowned Skrump

A Skorb Harvest Tradition

In my entry on the Skorbs, I wrote how all of them, no matter where they are in and around Mbali, try to make it back to their homeland in Sunni during Harvest season for Kalmari. Harvest is a big deal in all Mbali, but for the Skorbs, it is the time of return, restoration, and the reuniting of families, even if for just one season. Kalmari itself is one of the most iconic traditions of the Skorbs and within that celebration, there are a number of smaller traditions that make up the 2-week long festival, including a variety of foods and drinks that symbolize different meanings in Skorb history.

Kalmari is also a time when new sailors prepare for their first journey. At the age of fourteen, young Skorbs make the decision to leave their homeland in the next Storm Season. The four months prior to that they begin a series of training to prepare them to join the best sailors in the world. But their first rite of passage happens during Kalmari. On the second Nwano of the celebration, seafood delights are served throughout the day. All those who will begin their sailor training after celebration participate in a feast of Drowned Skrump.

In many places, Drowned Skrump might be classified as the most disgusting dish in all of Mbali, but to the Skorb, it is a special dish that marks an honored time in the life of a young Skorb. Drowned Skrump is a boiled faen fish, served on a bed of rice, and dressed with seaweed and a selection of native spices that are specifically grown in their Sunni home. The dish represents and tastes like the wonders of the sea, and it is a young Skorbs first "sea" experience before training and then embarking on their first ship adventure. It will not be their last time they'll enjoy the dish. Before leaving at the beginning of Storm Season, families traditionally give their new sailors a bottle of native spices. Drowned Skrump is a dish that Skorb sailors enjoy throughout their time on the water. It is eaten in the traditional boiled state or raw. It is a dish with special meaning and every time a Skorb returns home for Kalmari, they make sure to get themselves another bottle of spices before embarking on their next adventure.


Cover image: by 1971yes


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