First Inuit cuisine as cultural ambassador on expedition ship | Polarjournal
Cooked with local ingredients by Greenlandic chefs and fondly designed: This is how the product on board wants to present itself to the guests of the “Inuit Culinary Experience”. Image: Quark Expeditions

Greenland is fascinating not only because of its unique and diverse polar and subpolar landscape. The largest island in the world also has a lot to offer to its visitors in terms of culture, be it music, dance, handicrafts or fashion. What also catches the eye (and the nose) is the Greenlandic cuisine, which is more diverse than some people think. And that’s exactly what a major expedition tour operator is looking to do on some of its cruises in the next Arctic season.

Presenting “Tundra on the Table: Inuit Culinary Experience,” Quark Expeditions plans to introduce its guests to Greenland and its culture on several departures during the upcoming Arctic season and the year after. Inuit chefs will be on board to present their culinary creations and show people that Greenlandic cuisine has far more to offer than many would think. “Quark Expeditions has had the honor of traveling to the Inuit homelands of Greenland and Nunavut for 30 years,” says Alex McNeill, Quark’s director of Expedition Experience and Innovation. “I was inspired by my relationships with local communities, so we created this platform, offering Inuit chefs from the Arctic the opportunity to showcase their cuisine and culture of Greenland and Nunavut.”

Important to the culinary experience is not only the fact that local Inuit chefs prepare the food. The ingredients, which will all be as local and as fresh as possible, are also an important consideration. Because the Arctic regions offer a wide range of different animals and plants, which are combined in the most diverse ways to create delicious menus. Examples of what might be served on board include beer-braised musk ox served with mashed Greenland potatoes and mushroom sauce, honey-glazed ptarmigan with turnip purée, or pickled halibut with lumpfish dip and bread. And those who are surprised by this diversity should remember that there is a big difference between home cooking and restaurant food in the Arctic regions, just like everywhere else in the world.

For the experience, however, Quark Expeditions aims to please more than just the taste buds. Guests are given a complete insight into the culture of the Inuit. In addition to the food, the chefs will share their knowledge of the richness of the Arctic tundra, especially in culinary terms, with the guests on the hikes and excursions. The idea is that, together with the cooks (and in compliance with AECO’s guidelines for the protection of flora and fauna), small quantities of edible plants and herbs are collected and prepared on board for tasting. “The ultimate purpose of this culinary experience is to support local chefs as they share the stories of their people through food,” says Alex McNeill. However, the offer for these trips is limited to a few selected departures.

Dr Michael Wenger, PolarJournal

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
error: Content is protected !!
Share This