North­west Ter­ri­to­ries

DINE and Destinations - - DRINK -

“There are a lot of food­ies up here from all over the world, so if a res­tau­rant isn’t good, it doesn’t last” —AL­LI­SON GOR­DON

Yel­lowknife has be­come mul­ti­cul­tural and the in­flu­ences from sea­son­ing to sauc­ing re­flect that. There is in­ter­na­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the din­ing scene from Ethiopian to Viet­namese. “There are a lot of food­ies up here from all over the world,” says

Al­li­son Gor­don (Bul­lock’s Bistro), “so if a res­tau­rant isn't good, it doesn't last.” Bul­lock's has be­come an in­sti­tu­tion. Fresh fish like white trout, Great Slave Lake trout and cod ar­rive daily and are grilled, pan-fried or deep-fried. Chow­der and Buf­falo stew are hearty nour­ish­ment.

In the hin­ter­lands of the ter­ri­to­ries there are sev­eral First Na­tions com­mu­ni­ties where trans­porta­tion is lim­ited. Sum­mer is short. Food must be stored for the long win­ter. Tra­di­tion­ally, the diet is low-carb, high pro­tein and iron, and cui­sine re­flects the game and aqua­cul­ture avail­able, which, in the ab­sence of fire­wood, is eaten raw or frozen. Big game meats like bi­son, muskox, cari­bou, moose, griz­zly bear and po­lar bear, and smaller game like muskrat, beaver, rab­bit, Arctic hare, goose, duck, grouse, and ground squir­rel are all hunted and gath­ered. De­pend­ing on the sea­son, meat is boiled or dried, and some­times smoked. Most parts of a cari­bou can be con­sumed, in­clud­ing the blood, and are also made into jerky, sausage, roasts and steak. Hunt­ing and fish­ing are how lo­cals keep ac­tive and healthy. Wild greens like Arctic wil­low, net­ted wil­low, moun­tain sor­rel, fire­weed and seabeach sand­wort are for­aged along with blue­ber­ries, goose­ber­ries, crow­ber­ries and cran­ber­ries, and are eaten with seal or wal­rus blub­ber. Fish in the Arctic, like Arctic char, are among the meati­est, fat­test and tasti­est in Canada. Ev­ery part of the fish can be con­sumed in­clud­ing the bones. There is a range of seafood and sea­weed that is eaten raw or dried and dipped in boiled seal meat broth. Bel­uga, nar­whal, seal and wal­rus can be eaten raw, frozen, dried, smoked or fer­mented. The tra­di­tional method of fer­ment­ing wal­rus, for ex­am­ple, is bury­ing it un­der gravel to al­low for con­trolled cool air­flow. Blub­ber and skin are also con­sumed raw, fer­mented or boiled in soup or stew, and the tusks are used for carv­ing. Ne­ces­sity is the mother of in­ven­tion.

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