The largest jurisdiction of Canada is the furthest north of all, inhabited by only little more than 34,000 people, and the latest to join the confederation.
The capital Iqaluit, population 6,300, is the largest and most “cosmopolitan” with the majority Inuit (aka Eskimo), First Nations, and non-aboriginal people. The main language is Inuktitut, followed by English, and French.
According to researchers, the region has been inhabited for 4000 years, but other than artefacts there is no written record until after 1576 when Martin Frobisher, an English explorer, travelled there to look for “hidden” riches.
Nunavut (1,887,787 km2) became an official province on April 1, 1999, and since then embarked upon ambitious economic development plans on mining (especially diamonds) and diamond cutting, with the help of imported diamond cutting experts from Armenia. Arts and tourism also bring in huge sums of money to that province.
The immense landmass is tranquil and peaceful, and offers overworked, nervous, anxious, and always-in-a-hurry people opportunities to commune with nature.
Wildlife abounds and Innuks know how to use this natural sustenance to their advantage.
Artic char is prized for its delicate taste, striking colour, sustainability, and health benefits. It is becoming increasingly popular and on restaurant menus across Canada. Artic char, rich in omega_3 fatty acids, closely related to salmon and trout, has been popular with Innuks for centuries. They enjoy it raw, smoked, dried, and now pan-fried or roasted pr grilled.
Bannock is the quick-type bread widely used; it is composed of flour, baking powder, salt, milk, water and fat for frying.
The Nunavut summer lasts eight weeks only, but the sun shines for 20 hours a day. The thin layer of soil abounds with berries and other vegetation.
Caribou is one of the staples of Innuit sustenance and from time to time is available across the country in specialty shops.
If caribou is unavailable, you can substitute with elk or venison.
Men hunt caribou, but women take over when the carcass arrives. The ùlu`, a traditional Inuk-knife, originally made of slate, but now the blade is forged steel, the handle of antler, wood, or plastic is used. This crescent`-shaped knife is used for skinning the carcass, chopping food, or even cutting fabric. The ulu resembles a `half-moon` chopper many European chefs use for flat-leaf parsley or dill, chopping among other things.
Caribou meat is low in fat, flavourful, but more chewy than beef, and can be sued in all recipes meant for beef.
|Writer – Hrayr Berberoglu – E-mail – Read his books?
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