Content warning. There’s some gross food pictures here, including animal heads. Just saying…
Let’s just admit it. Holiday food and treats are a big part of what makes Christmas so fun. Yes, I know we just had Thanksgiving but nothing beats the sugar rush of Christmas.
Then, there’s the Christmas feast! It can be another awkward dinner with family where the food may or may not be edible. But it could always be worse.
While no one is particularly happy to see Aunt Jane’s “famous” cranberry brussell sprouts on the menu, I’ll take that any day if the other choices are being invited to dinner in Greenland or South Africa.
Let’s take a peek at the menu in Greenland, shall we?
This feast takes months to prepare just right. Come the day, you’ll find your table laden with mattak and kiviak.
Mattak is a traditional Inuit delicacy. Who could ever get enough of raw whale skin and blubber? Yes, you read that right. In case you’re curious, it tastes oily and rubbery, and slightly nutty. Some households have modernized things a bit and might offer this delicacy pickled or deep-fried. Does that help?
Along with your whale blubber, you’ll also be offered kiviak. I guess you could say kiviak is the Inuit version of turduckin. You pull out all the guts from a seal, then stuff the carcass full of little birds called auk.
Then, bury it in your yard for a few months until it’s nicely decomposed and fermented. Perfection!
The flavor is said to be close to an aged cheese or licorice.
How’s your appetite? If you’re still hungry let’s jet over to South Africa for a feast of fried caterpillars. Every Christmas in South Africa thousands of Pine Tree Emperor Moth caterpillars, or Christmas caterpillars, are harvested and fried up for your holiday table. Munching down on these little cuties is supposed to bring you good luck in the new year. I’m told they are an excellent source of protein and the dried version tastes like salty potato chips.
Appropriately named, the Christmas caterpillar is green and red. They apparently act like our well-known friend tofu. It’s all in the preparation. Do it right and a good caterpillar can taste like anything you want it to.
If you’re a picky eater and just can’t imagine noshing on blubber or caterpillars, I’m sorry, but the only other options I have for you is smoked sheep brain in Norway.
Or pig’s head in England.
Honestly, I’d just stay home and sincerely thank Aunt Jane for the brussel sprouts.
Alison Palmer is a quirky writer with multi-colored hair who lives in the middle of a land scorched by dragon’s breath. She is the mother of four children who are in training to be a Witch, a Dragon’s Princess, a Knight and a Dwarf. When she’s not actively daydreaming, she can be found searching old nooks and crannies for a brownie or house elf willing to come home and do the dishes for her. If she can’t find a brownie a pet unicorn would do.