North·The Arctic Kitchen

Tahltan woman bakes moose head that looks fierce, tastes phenomenal, feeds a family

This week's Arctic Kitchen recipe is a big bull moose head.

'Our Tahltan people never waste anything from a moose kill,' says Noreen Vance

Noreen Vance says she and her husband go to Tahltan territory every year to get their moose. (Submitted by Noreen Vance)

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Did you know that a moose head can easily feed a family of 10?

"There's a lot of meat," said Noreen Vance.

She's a Tahltan woman from Telegraph Creek, B.C. who savours every morsel of traditional food.

"Our Tahltan people never waste anything from a moose kill. The moose head is like a turkey dinner … so much meat on it!" she said to CBC on Facebook messenger.

Vance now lives in Terrace, B.C. but every year she and her husband travel to Tahltan territory to get their moose.

This year's was a big bull and it took a full day to cook the head.

This moose head is being prepared for a long day in the oven. Vance covers it in salt and pepper and spices before she bakes it. (Submitted by Noreen Vance)

"We skin the moose head to prepare it for cooking and remove the throat and thoroughly wash it out to make sure it's clean," she said.

Then she stuffs the tongue back into the throat, covers the head in salt and pepper and spices, covers it in tinfoil and places it in a big pan with water.

"Preheat the oven to 350 and cook for 8½ hours," Vance said.

The result is spectacular and she highly recommends people try it.

"It's going to be the best experience for your taste buds because it's like no other [food] you have tried before."

Noreen Vance says it takes a full day to cook moosehead in the oven. (Submitted by Noreen Vance)

When Vance posted pictures of her moose head on CBC's Facebook group, The Arctic Kitchen, some people were in awe, others were salivating.

"So love all the ways this site uses the meat they hunt. The way things are going in the world, we all may need your knowledge in the future. I think this is the way we should all be," said one member.

"Eyes are the best part … and marrow from the jaw after to pull apart, so yummy," said another.

"Would love to try it sometime. Epic meal!" chimed a member.

Vance says after the "epic" meal she gets back to work for even more meat off the head.

There is a lot of meat that comes off a moose head. Vance says a moose head can feed a family of 10. (Submitted by Noreen Vance)

"We make another delicacy called head cheese and that's another process of four to five hours … lots of meat in by the cheeks," she said on Facebook messenger.

All that work is worth it, for more than just the meat she says.

"I was raised on traditional foods all my life and continue to provide it for my family … it is important to carry on our traditional ways as it keeps me grounded."