Greenland Stories and Tips

Greenlandic Buffet

Greenlandic Choir Photo, Ilulissat, Greenland

The Greenlandic Buffet Farewell Dinner was included in our stay at Hotel Arctic. The buffet contained seafood such as smoked whale, shrimp, scallops, halibut, trout, and other smoked and dried fish. I tried just about all the items. Just like the lunch we had on the Eqi Glacier boat trip earlier that day, all of the items were served cold. I prefer my seafood served hot but when in Greenland…

There were two types of smoked whale. One was black and the other was the color of cooked bacon. Both pieces tasted similar to soft, salty bacon but the black piece had a milder taste.

There were two fishes on the buffet I did not try. I can't remember if they were smoked or dried. In either case, it looked like they had been pulled out of the sea and placed on the buffet - eyes, fins, and all. Knowing they were cold and whole just messed with my mind too much.

There was a carving station and the meat there was served hot. Hurray! On that table was musk ox, reindeer (caribou), lamb, and fried whale. The musk ox and reindeer both tasted similar to roast beef; however, the reindeer was much more tender and flavorful. It was my favorite. The fried whale was rather tough to cut. It looked and tasted like steak but more salty.

My wife did not enjoy the buffet. She liked the shrimp but that was it. At this point in the vacation, she was really missing fruit and vegetables. Typical of our meals in Greenland, the closest thing to vegetables being served at this buffet was potatoes. Well, at least the potatoes were served hot.

After dinner, we were treated to a mini-concert from a Greenlandic choir. Some of the members were dressed in the national clothing. The choir sounded great. They sang hymn-like songs a cappella with tight harmony. I enjoyed their performance and the opportunity to taste some local food. The Greenlandic Buffet Farewell Dinner was a great way to end our stay in Ilulissat. Afterwards, we headed back to our room to pack for our early morning flight to our final Greenlandic town, Kangerlussuaq.

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