Shortening or fat (slush) was the ingredient that most cooks used to flavor the otherwise rather bland ingredients as well as to add calories necessary to provide energy for the hard work required of the crew. At the end of a voyage, captains would sell leftover cooking grease creating what was referred to as a "slush fund".
Captains' cabins often included stores of nicer things. It's doubtful, however, that all of these items on the following list, ever
reached the fo'c'sle, except perhaps on special occasions:
Some items were saved for special events such as on board visits from other whaling captains, South Sea chieftains or Port officials.
Martha's Vineyard Museum