Meaning: To engage in frivolous conversation.
This tradition comes from the Inuit who used to chew whale blubber like bubble gum. It took a long time for the blubber to dissolve, so it really helped pass the time. There’s another theory that believes the origin came from sailors who were forced to chew salt pork when supplies were low. Either way, to chew the fat means to engage in conversation just to pass the time.