This Unique Meat Is An Important Part Of Greenlandic Cuisine

When thinking of international cuisine, the food of Greenland might not be the first to cross your mind. However, Greenland's food shouldn't be discounted, as it is often as delicious as it is interesting, and, perhaps to many Westerners, as unique. Greenlandic food is steeped in tradition; originally, fished or hunted food was dried and preserved in blubber to be consumed over the long winters (via Greenland Travel). Today, there are a myriad of restaurants where travelers can try the classic delicacies of Greenland, including those that Lonely Planet recommends such as Restaurant Nasaasaaq, which might serve reindeer, musk-ox, or ptarmigan (a grouse native to the tundra), or Restaurant Klara, serving snow crab and reindeer steaks.

One of the primary sources of food in Greenland is seal. In fact, the national dish is Suaasat, a broth most often prepared using seal meat, barley, and onion as ingredients. Additionally, reindeer makes for a popular meal, including soups, steaks, and osso buco made from reindeer hunted on Greenland's east coast (via Greenland Travel). However, none of these are the most surprising source of protein in Greenland.

Whale is a crucial part of traditional Greenlandic fare

Perhaps one of the most important meats to Greenlanders is whale. Because they have been eaten in Greenland for over 1,000 years and are a part of the people's traditional cuisine, the country is one of few that maintains the right to hunt whales (via Greenland Travel). Whale can be prepared in a variety of ways: as steak with onions, as raw blubber, or as mattak, which is the skin of whale blubber, often cut into cubes and considered to be one of the most expensive delicacies of Greenland (via Greenland Travel).

A Guide to Greenland writer pointed out that whale has nutritional value including Omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamins C and D. The writer reviewed various whale dishes, including mattak, about which she said, "From the very first morsel, I quite liked the taste of Mattak. ... I actually ended up going back for a second glass of Mattak at the buffet, and eagerly accepted more when I visited a local hunter at his home later in the week." She also tried raw whale blubber, of which she said, "It was soft and creamy and almost melted as I chewed" (via Guide to Greenland).