Menu of the people of the North

Tags: cuisine
Dishes of the peoples of the north

On the menu of the people of the North (such as the Nanais, the Chukchi, the Evenki and others) reindeer meat and fish play a major role. Besides reindeers there are other sources of meat: bears, squirrels and arctic foxes. But reindeers and fish have been the main source of food and vitamins for the peoples of the North since ancient times. Some of their traditional dishes are famous far beyond the North of Russia and Russia as a whole. One such dish is stroganina.

Stroganina is raw, thin, long-sliced frozen fish. The recipe came from the Nanai cuisine and is common throughout the entire north of Russia, including Yakutia and the Komi Republic. To prepare stroganina, the fish (normally of the Coregonus family, but not necessarily; often it is whitefish, sturgeon, omul, white salmon or peled) is frozen, then gradually sliced into thin pieces so as to not let the fish unfreeze, and the remaining part is frozen again. It is a tradition to eat stroganina by dipping it into mixture of salt and pepper (called makalovo).
Another interesting dish from Nanai cuisine (other sources attribute it to Chukchi cuisine) is fermented reindeer meat. The meat and bones of the reindeer are mixed together and placed in a sack of reindeer skin (or seal skin), the sack is tied up and placed on a glacier, on a spot where the snow has not melted. The sack is covered with snow and kept there through summer. In winter the sack is unearthed and the dish is considered to be ready for consumption.
Chukchi cuisine offers far more palatable recipes, for example, salmon soup and reindeer sticks (something like fried fish sticks, only made from reindeer meat).