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Nunavut...caribou-head has many flavours here

Doug Stern of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut heard our piece about the Norwegian sheep's-head dish (smalahove, Oct 28/31) and also heard us ask if anybody had a story like it.

Yes I do, and it's not from another country, but ours, Canada.

In the central Arctic where I live, a traditional delicacy is cooked caribou head. Especially this time of year when caribou are close to town on their annual migration to the coast.

I'm originally from southern Ontario [Burlington], but after 28 years, a well cooked head is my favorite food. In the past 3 days I've had 'neaquq' [literally 'head'] for supper twice.

Yes its an aquired taste. and like the Norwegian students and some adults who are 'disgusted' by the look, so too are the younger generation of Inuit not quite so enamored of this meal. So it's becoming a meal more and more enjoyed by an older minority.  But I count myself one of the converted. Brain, eyeball, optic nerve, jaw meat, nose, even the fat in the head tastes different. Couldn't ask for a better smorgasbord of flavours and textures.

Doug's smorgasboard, fresh from the oven!

(photo/Doug Stern)

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