Food in Greenland: An Unexpected Gastronomical Expedition

Most people know that Greenland’s name is quite misleading. Greenland isn’t very green (most of the time) considering massive ice caps and permanent glaciers cover it. This strange factor is what makes food in Greenland such an interesting topic. Greenland’s land is mostly barren meaning a major portion of their food comes from the Ocean! Traditional Greenlandic cuisine is based on the meat from marine animals and the occasional bird. Globalization has since affected Greenland’s gastronomy making it a lot more diverse. International trade has lead to many distinct advances in cooking. But, rest assured Greenland is holding on to its traditions. Wonderful displays of modern cooking with classic Greenlandic ingredients have been on the rise.


Food in Greenland is more than just sustenance

It is history. Food is tradition. Food in Greenland forms part of a larger culture, a culture that prides itself on hunting and forming tight bonds with family and friends. Those who hunt together have a strong sense of solidarity. Historically, food that is caught is also shared. Communities depended on each other and worked together in order to thrive. According to Greenland’s official website,, even today “food and mealtimes remain a central part of Greenlanders’ characteristic hospitality.”

Due to Greenland’s cultural investment with Nature many ingredients are often organic. Fish, game, and marine mammals usually roam free allowing people to have access to food while keeping the environment in tact. There is little to no use of artificial feed and or flavorings. Which leads us to…

Typical Greenlandic dishes

Greenland’s national dish is suaasat. Artic soup, how appropriate! This national dish is normally made from whale, seal, reindeer, or sea birds. The animal broth is made thick by using starches such as barley, rice, or potatoes. Suaasat is dense. What else would you expect? Freezing temperatures call for a heart soup. Seasoning is kept to a minimum. Suaasat is usually seasoned with salt, pepper, onion, and or bay leaf.

Muktuk is also a well-known Inuit dish . Muktuk is a meal that consists of frozen whale skin and blubber. Yeah, you read that correctly. Although this dish might sound unappetizing to some it is important to keep in mind that beauty lays in different cultures and their customs. Besides, we heard muktuk tastes good. This meal is usually eaten raw in which case it has somewhat of a nutty flavor although the whale skin and blubber can be diced, fried, and or pickled.

Now, this article simply scratches the surface of Greenland’s food scene. As mentioned before, food in Greenland has a beautiful and fascinating history, not to mention is still deeply rooted in the country’s identity. A few generalizations have been made in this article in order to give you somewhat of an understanding about Greenland’s food scene but there are very diverse and exciting regions that also offer diverse and exciting plates. With that being said, when are you planning to visit Greenland? If so, don’t forget to check out our website and ask a local to take you to kaffemik. Thank you for reading, until next time!