Nu­navut

DINE and Destinations - - DRINK -

Tra­di­tional Inuit cui­sine is based on sur­vival, to stay warm and strong, but also in­volves spir­i­tu­al­ity. They be­lieve in a rev­er­ent re­la­tion­ship with their re­sources. Some be­lieve that con­sum­ing seal blood re­plen­ishes hu­man blood and is vi­tal to their diet. The cli­mate pro­hibits agri­cul­ture and farmed veg­e­ta­tion, so what is hunted and gath­ered is re­spected and shared. What one mem­ber of a com­mu­nity catches is shared with the rest.

Land mam­mals like cari­bou, po­lar bear and muskox are fer­mented, smoked, stewed or roasted de­pend­ing on the sea­son. A tra­di­tional fer­men­ta­tion prac­tice in­volves pre­serv­ing a seal or grouse within a thick layer of blub­ber and skin. Sea mam­mals like wal­rus, seal and bel­uga or bow­head whale are prized for their meat, blub­ber and skin. Whale blub­ber and skin are tra­di­tion­ally eaten raw or frozen. Seafood and fish also in­clude Green­land shrimp, scal­lops, mus­sels, clams, tur­bot, Arctic char, Arctic cod and lake trout.

Though green plants are scarce, sea­weed, var­i­ous tu­bers, grasses, sea­sonal flow­er­ing plants, and wild berries in­clud­ing blue­ber­ries, black­ber­ries, cran­ber­ries, crow­ber­ries, cloud­ber­ries and Baf­fin berries are gath­ered and stored. Tra­di­tional recipes in­clude ban­nock;

aku­taq, a mix­ture of berries and fat; suaasat, a hearty soup com­bin­ing sea and land mam­mals with sea birds; and igu­naq, steak of meat and fat buried in the ground to fer­ment over the win­ter. Tra­di­tional drinks in­clude Labrador tea and melted glacier ice.

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