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Sour blood pudding – A unique dish at the “end of the world” can only be enjoyed!

What to eat when it’s cold and live in the most remote place in the world? The indigenous people of Russia in the North have very unique recipes.

Fish jelly

In a place where there are so many fish that even desserts are made from fish, jelly made from fish skin might not come as a surprise.

This is how the Udege (about 1,500 people as of 2010) prepare it: The dry skin of the keta salmon is descaled, milk is added, and then dish Cooked in a pan over low heat, until it reaches a jelly-like consistency.

All that’s left to do is pour the hot jelly into the bowl, add the berries and nuts and chopped acorns, and then wait for the dish to set.

Sour blood pudding - A unique dish at the end of the world can only be enjoyed!  - Photo 1.

Kiviak – bird stuffed with seals

Done with appetizers, are you hungry yet? Then let’s move on to something special – kiviak, the festival food of the Eskimos. It is not only considered a delicacy but also a “treasure” of the Arctic that helps people survive in the long cold night.

The recipe is as follows: Take the meat of a seal or walrus, cut off the head and stuff the meat with small birds – usually anca. Neither seals nor birds are gutted (birds don’t even need to pluck their feathers).

The seal skin cuts were then reattached with tallow and placed in a cool pit for “preservation” for a period of 6 to 18 months. Through this time, the bird will be fermented by the intestines of the seal.

Once the fermentation is complete, the birds are removed from the seals and plucked at the outdoor party venue – always outdoors, as the dish has a distinctive smell. Depending on the number, up to 400 birds can be crammed into a seal.

Sour blood pudding - A unique dish at the end of the world can only be enjoyed!  - Photo 2.

Vilmullymut – sour blood soup

This hard-to-pronounce word is the name of a blood soup that northern peoples make from reindeer offal. Reindeer, deer antler and animal’s lips are roasted thoroughly on fire, then put in a pot to soak in water for about 3-4 days to remove the bitter taste.

Then the mixture is boiled until the pieces become soft and the liquid thickens. When the mixture cools down, the pieces of liver, kidney and fresh blood are added, then everything is put in a leather bag or a pan, tightly covered and left in a dark place to ferment. Can be eaten after 4 to 6 weeks.

Kanyga – food in reindeer stomach

One of the most famous dishes of the Chukotka, Koryak and Eskimo people is Kanyga. This dish does not need to be cooked. It is simply the mixture of food contained in the reindeer’s stomach.

Immediately after the animal was slaughtered, its stomach was carefully dissected, yielding lumps of grass, moss, mushrooms and everything else the reindeer had eaten that had yet to be digested.

This mass of food remains in the gastric juice. It is eaten simply by mixing with blueberries or cranberries. Kanyga is said to promote digestion when eating a lot of meat and fat, and is rich in vitamins, which are not easily found in the tundra.

Munychebukech – sour fish head

Munychebukech or sour fish head is an Evenk dish made from fish heads. The head of any salmon is used. The eyes are sucked out and the gills and jaws removed.

The head is mixed with red caviar and placed in an airtight container for several days. Those who have tasted it often compare the taste of Munychebukech to sour cabbage.

Kuyukta – fly larvae

For outside observers, this is probably the most “horrifying” dish among the dishes of some indigenous peoples of the North.

Kuyukta is nothing but the larva of the warble fly – an insect that often parasitizes reindeer. Female flies lay eggs on reindeer skin. The larvae hatch from the eggs after a few days, after which they penetrate the skin and spend months there to mature.

The animal suffers from severe itching, the body is full of holes, tissue damage and, in severe cases, the animal can die soon after.

So, humanely thought, eating fly larvae means helping reindeer and earning yourself a protein-rich snack. Kuyukta is eaten by reindeer herders from mid-summer onwards.

Sour blood pudding - A unique dish at the end of the world can only be enjoyed!  - Photo 3.

Akutak – Eskimo ice cream

Genuine Eskimo ice cream is not a sweet ice cream with a chocolate coating. It is whipped with reindeer, walrus or seal fat with added berries and sometimes sugar. The word akutak itself means “mixed”.

Here is the recipe for akutak. Sliced ​​reindeer fat, simmered on low fire. It is then mixed with seal fat. The next step is to add fresh berries like blackberries and cranberries and mix again. Then, mix in more snow and place in the fridge, waiting for all the ingredients to solidify.

Kopalkhen – reindeer buried in the swamp

This is the most dangerous delicacy of Northern cuisine. If outsiders eat kopalkhen, they will get food poisoning and possibly death.

It is the fermented meat of reindeer, seal or walrus, buried under marsh soil or permafrost for a minimum period of half a year. When kopalkhen is made from reindeer, the animal is starved for several days to empty its stomach.

During burial in the swamp, it begins to decompose, leading to the formation of microorganisms that gradually change the composition of the meat.

The process of cadaveric toxin removal takes place during this time. Locals have been eating kopalkhen since childhood and their bodies have adapted to it, but outsiders are advised not to try it.

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Mantak – whale skin

More than just a membrane, the whale skin here also has a layer of pink fat, which is often consumed in winter.

One cannot buy a mantak – only the people of Chukotka can own it and give it to guests. In Russia, according to the International Convention on Whaling, only people living in the North are allowed to hunt whales and only for personal consumption.

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