Reindeer, Muskox, and South Greenlandic Lamb are Greenland’s succulent equivalents to common livestock. With the exception of a few sheep farms, the animals run wild amongst the Greenland backcountry, and this natural and unstressed life absolutely contributes to the tenderness and high quality of the meat. Small game, such as ptarmigan and snow hare, complete the land repertoire.
The cool Arctic waters offer an impressive selection of cod, trout, Arctic char, redfish, rockfish, and the famed Greenlandic halibut. Not to mention snow crabs as wide as a man’s arms and Greenlandic shrimp and prawns that pack distinct flavor into their miniature size. Even the mountain rivers are so full with fish that, with a quick reflex, you can catch them by hand!
Arctic sea mammals like seals and smaller whales are a delicacy in Greenland cuisine, and the more adventurous gastronomes are always tempted to try them. Taste mattak, a small bite of whale skin and whale blubber, or suaasat, the flavorful national soup made of boiled seal meat.
NEWCOMERS TO GREENLAND RECIPES
Homegrown fruits and vegetables remain more of a side dish than a main course, but a few farmers in South Greenland and some inspired chefs around the country are getting creative. Warming temperatures have allowed for experimentation with potato and strawberry crops and even beekeeping, and already the results have been distributed in small batches along the coast.
Also, a growing focus to incorporate local flora like angelica, crowberry, and blueberry into the gastronomic experience is an innovative step toward synergy of the Greenland food from land and sea.