What can surprise Chukchi cuisine

Vitamins under your feet

Plants play an important role in the life of the Chukchi. It would seem that due to the harsh climate, the Arctic is not rich in flora. But Anna Lebedinskaya, chief curator of the Chukotka Heritage Museum Center, claims that from time immemorial, indigenous peoples have been preparing various herbs and berries for the winter, eating them raw or boiled, using them not only as food, but also as medicines.

“Modern children know very little about the properties of plants,” the specialist complains. – They know that lingonberries or blueberries are just tasty berries. Meanwhile, lingonberries are very effective in inflammatory processes, have bactericidal and antiseptic properties. A decoction of its leaves helps with kidney disease, diabetes, rheumatism. And berries – with tuberculosis. Their juice is good for high blood pressure.

Russian cat

Galina Notatynagirgina is known in Chukotka as the guardian of local traditions. She grew up in the tundra, on the shores of the Gulf of Anadyr, in a place called Russian Cat. This name was given to him in the middle of the 17th century by the explorer Semyon Dezhnev. Moreover, a cat is not an animal, but a scythe. For comparison, there is also an American Cat in Chukotka.

Galina Notatynagirgina is also a member of the Regional Public Organization of Chukchi Language Lovers “Native Word – Chychetkin Vetgav” and a teacher at the Palace of Children’s and Youth Creativity in Anadyr.

– Children of different nationalities come to me. I introduce them to traditional culture in general, including the cuisine of the indigenous peoples of Chukotka. This is healthy food that grows right under your feet – the same leaves, roots. And we try to give this knowledge to children, – said Galina Notatynagirgina. – As you know, the region is engaged in hunting, fishing, reindeer herding, as well as collecting wild plants. Therefore, the basis of many traditional dishes included such products as poultry, deer, sea animals, fish and, of course, their fat and entrails. Herbs that grow in the highlands are used as spices.

Galina Ivanovna spoke about the dish, which is considered an attribute of the Sun Festival. It is called kymky, and the Chukchi use meat, kidneys, heart, liver and deer fat to cook it. According to the keeper of traditions, all these ingredients are easily digested by the stomach.

Hot ear – what could be tastier? Photo: RIAN

Grigory Ranavroltyn, a member of the regional public organization of lovers of the Chukchi language “Native Word”, the author of Russian-Chukotian dictionaries, made a presentation, which was listened to with bated breath at the conference. After all, he talked about porridge from manala – that is, from the contents of the stomach of a deer. According to Grigory Ivanovich, this dish is very healthy and high-calorie.

sour blood

A member of the same organization, Antonina Kergitval, told how the Chukchi use the sour blood of deer.

Reindeer herders preserve animal derivatives: legs, lips and tails. They cut the wool – they used to do it with a knife, but now scissors are also used. Then singe on a fire and clean. After pour cold water and leave for a day or two. All excess floats to the top, and the water is drained.

– Derivatives are thoroughly cleaned: the lips are cut, and the legs are tapped with a hammer to separate the hooves. Although my mother also loved to gnaw on hooves, they are probably useful too. All this is placed in a large saucepan. And only enameled. There is added the blood of deer, which has been stored since the winter slaughter. The dish is infused for a week or two – depending on the weather, – says Antonina Kergitval. – Liver was also added to it. It can be fried or eaten raw. I love it when it’s not fried, but just chopped – yummy! Some also put the lungs cut into pieces, and someone – the kidneys. They cut it so that the elderly can eat it – in small pieces.

The dish is eaten for several months. For example, when sorrel appears, its leaves are added. Cloudberries ripen by mid-summer. By this time, deer lips, legs and tails are usually already eaten, but there is still acidic blood. If you pour it over a berry, then, according to local residents, it turns out to be a real meal.

Sea hunters can eat walrus meat raw right on the shore, after a successful hunt. Stroganin is held in high esteem by many peoples of the North. Photo: RIAN

Antonina Kergitval shared an amazing life story. In her youth, she and her husband left Chukotka, leaving to study “on the mainland.” Left without the usual northern food, the girl could not eat anything but frozen apples, black bread and sweets “Bear in the North”. Seeing this, her husband took her to her small homeland. Once at home, the student waited for several days for her favorite sour seal paws, which were prepared by her mother. And since I tasted them, I can eat everything.

By the way

Moonshine from Italy

The conference turned out to be very representative, because both the luminaries of domestic science and prominent scientists from foreign countries became its participants online. Armando Maggia, an Italian anthropologist from the city of Aritzo, representing the Ethnographic Museum of Sardinian Highland Culture, spoke about the social functions of moonshine in Sardinia. The topic of the report by Yaroslava Panakova from the Institute of Ethnology and Social Anthropology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava was “What kind of food do I like – who am I? Multisensory approach”. Jessica Kantorovich, who studies the peoples of the Arctic, from the University of Chicago, while in Greenland, recorded a video report on sociolinguistic research conducted in Chukotka. The performance of the well-known French philologist Charles Ventsen, who had lived in the North for many years, was planned. He was supposed to talk about the terminology of nutrition in the Chukchi language, but fell ill and could not take part in the conference. Russian scientists from the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Department of History of the St. Petersburg School of Humanities and Arts of the Higher School of Economics also presented their reports.

Source: Российская газета by rg.ru.

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