The Food

I've been lucky enough to have been invited to a few Greenlandic dinners, plus as a great lover of food, I've also visited many restaurants here. So here's a short story about food in Nuuk!

Coming here, I was pretty curious about what the local food would be like. Many blogs told me I would basically only be served nothing but fish and mammals caught here as everything else is way too expensive to import and goes bad during the trip anyway. Like I've said before, I've found that's not really true: there's a lot of stuff in the grocery stores, bakeries and restaurants, including salad, fruit and other fresh stuff. It's maybe a bit expensive here but as I'm from Finland where you'll be taxed for breathing, it's not that big of a deal. I know I eat a lot, I saved money for that when I left Finland.

Despite loving food, I'm a really bad - and lazy - cook and when left to my own devices, will just get frozen dinners and cup soups and place a lot of importance on the dessert. At home my boyfriend cooks a lot and there are some frozen dinners I know how to make tolerably healthy with a few add-ons. So I haven't really cooked local foods, like at all. However, I have still managed to try exotic foods, like whale. I know there might be issues with eating whale, or especially hunting whale but I thought I'd try it anyway as it was offered to me.

This is whale blubber. I forgot from which whale, sorry. It looks soft and oily but it was actually really tough, they have a certain type of traditional, special knife to cut it with. You dip the whale into soy sauce (and maybe salt, though soy works best for me) and start biting. There are parts of the stuff you really can't chew through, so you just bite around that and then either spit or swallow. It sounds super weird, I know. I'm obviously not a food blogger. But the taste was okay, after you got used to the texture. It's like more tasty squid or octopus, I'd say. The more you chew, the more you get into the taste. It's an experience. Later on, on another dinner, I also tried whale meat, which was also pretty surprising. I think it tasted like beef the most but then there's a fishy flavor too. Seal tasted quite similar, though there was a very slight flavor of liver and the texture was more moist, more oily.

Then I also tried muskox cooked in a few different ways. First I tried muskox liver with bacon, and I have to say it was quite disgusting, to be honest. It was liver. I've never liked any kind of liver, in fact I think I've only had liver that didn't make me feel like throwing up. Sorry! It's just not good. Don't like bacon really either and the match was way too greasy and heavy. Then I had cooked muskox meat, which also tasted a lot like beef but was good enough and quite interesting. I'm not a big beef fan in general but I'm always glad to taste new stuff.

I think so far reindeer has been my favorite of local delicacies, either cooked or smoked. It reminds me of home and elementary school years, when we had a lot of reindeer stew and mashed potatoes at lunch. Plus I just love a good smoked meat, full of earthy, wild smoke flavor and so tender it melts in your mouth. I've head smoked elk, lamb and reindeer in my life and when it's done right, it's perfect. Smoked meats are delicacies in Finland too and where I live, you don't see that kinda stuff in the shops that much or if you do, it's way too expensive. During Christmas, smoked salmon is quite common but outside that, you kind of have to know somebody who makes it to get it.

And then we also had stuff like shrimps, fish roe with onions, dried fish, red fish etc. With this tapas-kind of dinner, salad is usually also served and then really crunchy and lovely cooked potato slices. I have been fed very well in the past few weeks! And not to forget, there's always dessert. I've had all kinds of lovely pastries and locally made ice cream! Not too shabby for a starving artist.

All in all, the Greenlandic really love their sweets. There are cakes, pastries, smoothies and all kinds candies. Most are good but there's also that weird obsession with marzipan that I think comes from Germany, through Denmark, so if you're not into marzipan in your pastry or chocolate, just beware. I like it in a few certain types of cakes but mostly it's just a big no-no.

As for local restaurants and cafés, there aren't that many in Nuuk but mostly everybody goes to Pascucci, Katuaq and Esmeralda. For tea and something sweet I like going to either Pascucci (the best millionare short bread ever) or the café in Katuaq where you get a delicious little truffle with your tea that makes the visit worth it already. I don't usually even like truffles but these I adore. Esmeralda is maybe better for lunch, I've had spicy chicken pasta and quesadillas in there and both were delicious. 

I've also tried pizza in IGGU, as everybody recommended it. It was really good, though I had nothing to complain about the pizzas I tasted in Pascucci and that small place next to the art museum that I forgot the name of. I just remember that their sign looks like a maxi-pad. I'm so sorry!

It might occur to somebody reading this that I will eat and like almost anything I taste. It's not exactly true but like I said earlier: I'm no food blogger. There's a lot of foods I don't like but I like trying out new stuff and usually if I don't like a food but have to eat it, I'll just eat it and start thinking about dessert already. That'll get me through anything.


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