The rich aroma of raw caribou and walrus came wafting down Natsiq Street as Inuit expedition members Simon Qamanirq, Lukie Airut, and Theo Ikummaq prepared their meat for travel.
The three men came well prepared for a long journey – they brought traditional ‘country foods’ from their home town of Iglulik to share with both people and dogs on the three-month expedition. Baffin Island natives and non-natives at base camp came out to taste the meat.
While caribou is a somewhat lighter meat and more common, fermented walrus is much richer, higher in fat, and considered a delicacy in traditional Inuit culture. Both meats, along with seal and whale, are highly prized during the winter months. Consuming even a small amount will warm a person up rapidly in a matter of minutes. Iqaluit resident Meeka Mike informed those less familiar with country foods that a meal of fermented walrus will keep a person full, warm, and energized for three full days.
The expedition team plans to eat a combination of country foods from Iglulik, fresh meat hunted on trail, and dried food packed out from the Steger Homestead in Minnesota.