Diving into the Arctic diet of meat

30.5.2016 8:00
Get inspired by Inuit ice cream, be surprised of fat percentage of caribou meat and be startled by the smell of dried fish. Welcome to enjoy some Arctic aromas in Nam nam, the new temporary exhibition of the Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland.

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Berries diversify Arctic diet and color the new temporary exhibition at the Arktikum Science Centre in Rovaniemi, Finland. Photo: Arto Vitikka / Arctic Science Centre

Nicolas Gunslay, chief executive producer of Arktikum Science Centre, is fascinated by food and cooking. He has planned an exhibition of this tasty topic for a long time. Arctic diet is linked to Arctic cultures but also linked to many crucial questions of the Arctic, like globalization, climate change and sustainability.

Gunslay moved to Rovaniemi from France almost twenty years ago. How do French and Lappish food cultures differ from each other?

– We might not have the quantity here in Lapland but we do have the quality, Gunslay says.

Reindeer meat, salmon, porcini and bilberries are common edibles in Lapland but gourmet in South.

– If reindeer meat would be ‘found’ in European metropolis, we wouldn’t have enough of it here for us anymore.

In the North, growing season is much shorter than in South and the variety of species is much smaller.

– What you can gather, depends on environmental issues, like climate.

According to Gunslay the relation to food is more social in France and more practical in Lapland. For example, reindeer or fish soup is an easy way to feed a lot of people without compromising the taste. But naturally eating is a social situation also in the North.

– Grilling sausages on camp fire is as social as having a three-hour dinner.

In Nam Nam exhibition one can see, smell and maybe even taste a bite of Northern nature. Brief bulletins dive into the diverse world of Arctic food where science is set on plates in a restaurant like atmosphere with Lappish seasoning.

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Mattak is a traditional Inuit delicacy made of whale blubber. Here this delicacy is cut from narwhal in Qaanaaq, Greenland. Photo: Ulannaq Ingemann

NAM NAM – Arctic food
Arktikum Science Centre, Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland
Pohjoisranta 4, Rovaniemi, Finland

More information:

Chief executive producer Nicolas Gunslay, etunimi.sukunimi(at), +358 (0)40 735 7296

Arktikum opening hours and prices: