Inspired by the Inuit traditional way of cooking and eating.
Country foods are the term the Inuit use to describe foods traditionally caught and eaten for generations. This often includes game meats that are not easily available to the rest of the globe - such as moose and caribou meats, however the Inuit have also been known to eat fish - such as Arctic cod and Arctic Char, which are easier to procure for the majority of us.
Traditional Inuit diet is low in carbohydrates, because of the impossibility to cultivate grains, fruits and vegetables in the arctic. Despite this, the Inuit will resort to utilizing the available flora and often use seaweed, tubers and roots in their cuisine. Once again, unless you live Up North, tundra roots and tubers will be next to impossible to find in your supermarket. For this reason, we will be using some common roots - carrots, onions and garlic, as well as tubers - potatoes, to make this soup.
In the early days, the Inuit boiled a lot and used the broth in their cooking.
They did not have any of the modern mixes like bouillon cubes or instants soup mixes. Instead they used salt from the sea to flavor their dishes.
With the introduction of flour, the Inuit started making Bannock - which is a pan cooked bread, originally introduced in Canada by Scottish explorers. We'll attach a recipe for bannock at the end of this post.
Berries are another carbohydrate source in the Inuit diet. For a special treat, these can be mixed with animal fats to make Aqutak - Alaskan ice cream.
Now, when I was doing my research on Inuit foods and recipes, I also tried to find a recipe for an Inuit tea - something that warms up people that live in the harshest climate known to man. Like before, most of the common ingredients used to make Inuit teas were not easy to obtain. The one thing that I could have done would have been a juniper tea (which I will definitely try one day), but something stopped me. You see, the whole point of coming up with recipes for an Inuit meal was to honor the people who made the meal in the first place. Same goes for the tea.
While doing my research on teas, I came across people who are already making Inuit tea. A company called Northern Delights (located in Nunavik - Northern Quebec) is already producing and selling 5 different blends of Inuit teas made with local plants and herbs and, in the process, creating jobs for the local Nunavimmiut (the people of Nunavik). Furthermore, all profits from the sales of these teas go back into linguistic, heritage and cultural programs for the Inuit - while the teas themselves are sharing a part of their culture with the rest of the world. What better reason to try a cool, new product than knowing that your purchase makes the world a little bit better?
Since it was our first time trying these teas, we opted for an assorted box with all 5 flavors. We've tried all of them in less than 2 days and we loved them all.
The teas are currently selling in several places in Canada (yes, we bought ours in a store), as well as France, Great Britain and Belgium. Here's a link to help you locate a distributor near you: http://deliceboreal.com/en/store-near-you/
You could also buy them over the telephone - the number is also on their website.
In case it was not obvious: I am not getting paid to promote this product. I only did it because I think it's the right thing to do.
This recipe is part of the 2021 - Week 5 - Indigenous Peoples in Canada Menu. Look under Menus for the other recipes of the series or Subscribe to our mailing list and receive complete weekly menu ideas with everything from the grocery shopping list to all standardized recipes in a menu, as well as an organized Order of Cooking list to save you time in the kitchen.
Download the standardized recipes here: