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Greenlandic Cuisine

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Greenland - Cooking and Food Edit

Overview of Greenlandic Cuisine History Edit

Greenland, the largest island in the world is located in Northern North America, between Artic Ocean and North Atlantic Ocean and it borders Canada in the north east. Greenland is a part of the Kingdom of Denmark, but since 1979 it is administrated by itself. Due to the fact that eighty-one percent of Greenland territory is ice capped, the agriculture is very weak, the region is low on vegetables and fruits except for garden and greenhouse vegetables. Fish represents the base of Greenland’s cuisine. Greenland cuisine is influenced both by Canadian cuisine on one hand and Denmark cuisine on the other hand. Greenland traditional diet is based on cereal products, dairy products, Pork, seafood, seal and whale blubber, apples, plums, carrots, onions, beer and bread. Canadian cuisine improved Greenland’s cuisine by the variety of ingredients introduced such as mussels, wild rice, fiddleheads, bison, salmon, caribou, maple syrup and wild blueberries.

Cuisines of Greenland Edit

Map of Greenland

Map of Greenland- Click to enlarge

Traditional Greenlandic food is based on fish and seafood. The most popular ingredients of a Greenlandic dish are walrus, seal and whale meat and the tastiest parts are the eyes, kidney and the heart. The cuisine of Greenland is traditionally heavy on fats and predominated by carbohydrates, meat and fish. Most vegetables and fruits included in Greenland’s cuisine are imported. Local dishes also include crab, shrimp, caribou, musk ox and artic fox. There are numerous ingredients, introduced in Greenlandic cuisine from Denmark cuisine, such as mushrooms, red or white cabbage, Onion, dill and mayonnaise. As fish and seafood are the basis of Greenland cuisine there are numerous varieties to prepare it such as smoked salmon, slices of cold smoked or cured salmon are served on white bread, topped with shrimp and ornamented with a slice of lemon and fresh dill; or marinate salad made with smoked white fish, fired white fish, shrimp, red Caviar, mayonnaise and slices of lemon.

Preparation Methods for Greenlandic Cooking Edit

People in Greenlandic cuisine use elements from a range of cooking traditions borrowed from their neighbors and developed from their own traditional dishes. While there are no specific or unique preparation methods for Greenland cooking, we should point out that attention to detail is important in the Greenland cuisine. Using the right amount of spices for example is essential – either for spicing up the taste or for coloring the dish. The diversity of vegetables and cereals found in Greenland is also noticed in the delicious dishes belonging to their cuisine. The visual attractiveness of the dish is also important, and a balance between colors and proportion differentiates. Each traditional dish has a special cooking method, which is more or less general in all of Greenland’s regions. Meat is one of the main elements of most Greenland dishes and cured and smoked hams are often parts of delicious dishes.

Special Equipment for Greenlandic Cooking Edit

The primary equipment needed in Greenlandic cookery is the can opener.

Greenlandic Food Traditions and Festivals Edit

Greenland’s national day is on the 21st of July. Other national holidays held in Greenland are Mitartut (January 6), New Year’s Day (January 1), Christmas Day(December 25), Ascension Day, Great Prayer Day, and Whit Monday. On the nights of Christmas and New Year, the people from Greenland follow the ancient tradition of singing carols outside the houses then the hosts invite them in and serve them traditional food and drinks. The traditional dish served on national holidays is “suaasat”, a soup of boiled seal meat with onions and rice. Another unique dish served on Greenlandic feasts is half-dried Cod, boiled and served with seal fat that is also slightly fermented.

People in Greenlandic Food Edit

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There are many chefs who creatively use the basic ingredients and cooking methods for traditional Greenlandic dishes and create original and delicious food variations. Greenlandic chefs are passionate about their traditional dishes and they enjoy presenting them to the foreigners who have never tasted them before. Whether they are cooking dishes that go back in time for centuries or brand new, modern dishes, Greenlandic chefs take pride in what they do, and this is readily noticeable in the unforgettable taste of their cooking.

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