Many travelers are used to the fact that each country has its own cuisine, so the gastronomic experience is the first thing that interests the tourist. However, going to the Antarctic, people involuntarily think: “Are there any local delicacies in this corner of the world?”
We can’t say that the cuisine of the Antarctic is rich in unusual food — high-calorie and nutritious meals that will not allow people to freeze is most appreciated here. And if during the cruise to the Arctic Circle you can try the cuisine of the local peoples, in Antarctica you are likely to get a taste of dishes popular among scientists and explorers, such as the freshest seafood, Pemmican, and Hoosh.
Baked Seafood: The Amazing Variety
Despite the fact that most of the continent is hidden in ice, most of the local population and researchers settle closer to the water. There they can find a lot of different marine inhabitants suitable for eating:
Also, in fresh rivers, people can find trout and salmon. In contrast, only one fish lives in the salty waters of the Antarctic, known as Wem. Interestingly, its scales change from pearl to white when baked. Thus, if you want to eat something familiar and delicious, it is better to choose fish from freshwater. If you want an exclusive seafood dish, make sure that Wem will be caught and cooked on the liner or station. You can try this fish only here!
However, keep in mind that the cooking options are quite limited: most seafood here is roasted/baked (like fish) or boiled (like mussels). There is no need to worry about spices if you are traveling on a cruise ship — usually, tourist chefs have a huge supply of fennel, basil, rosemary, and thyme to make the freshest seafood even tastier.
Pemmican: Wanna Some Fatty Cured Meat?
In general, Pemmican is homemade freeze-dried meat. This dish has long been known to all kinds of travelers and polar explorers and enjoys great respect among them due to its enormous nutritional value. Such meat can be stored for several years without spoiling, which is quite convenient.
Initially, recipes for making Pemmican were taken from the Indians in the eighteenth century. The dish became common among all northern people for whom it was important to get calories and not enjoy the exquisite taste. However, over time, the recipe has undergone a few changes, and Pemmican has become tastier, still retaining its nutritional properties.
For example, modern recommendations for preparing this dish include the following tips:
- The meat of bison and deer can be replaced with beef.
- The meat should be dried and then ground to a powder and mixed with fat in a ratio of 3:1.
- You can add dried mushrooms or spices, as well as berries.
By the way, the preparation of Pemmican can be stopped at the stage of drying the meat — strips of jerked beef are also very tasty and nutritious. Of course, you can try to cook the whole dish yourself and see if it will bring a boost of energy. However, it’s better to leave it to the professionals and enjoy its taste already during your Polar adventure!
Hoosh: #1 Nutritional Meal
Travelers often notice that Hoosh is obviously not the most delicious dish, but every tourist should try it to get a 100% Antarctic experience. The dish itself is also an invention of polar explorers, which is considered super high-calorie and even more nutritional than Pemmican or seafood. According to modern recipes, Hoosh consists of three ingredients:
- jerky (cooks usually take dried strips)
- sledging biscuits (such a meal is prepared from flour, soda, salt, oil, and water)
According to some sources, Pemmican can be used instead of jerky. However, some chefs stick to the original recipe and use strips of beef or venison that have gone through the full cycle of preparation:
- soaking fresh meat in concentrated brine (5 tablespoons per 4 cups of water + bay leaf + cloves + pepper)
- daily turning the meat in brine so that all the fibers are salted
- drying meat after 3-4 days in brine, pressing
- rubbing with spices and keeping in the cold for at least a week
Once all the stages are completed, the meat is considered ready for both eating and preparing superfine Hoosh. After boiling the dried meat, the cook gets a rich broth, where the biscuit is then added and boiled until dissolved. Of course, vegetables can be added to this dish, which are in abundance on a tourist liner — however, this will no longer be a classic recipe of Antarctic Hoosh.
Be Ready for Special Antarctic Cuisine
Keep in mind that there are practically no vegetables in Antarctica because they can only be supplied from outside. Thus, be prepared that your diet will change temporarily. Consult your doctor and perhaps purchase some dietary supplements that will make up for the lack of vitamins and minerals in the diet.
Additionally, tourists are often offered hot and hard chocolate as snacks. Do not give up on it, even if you are on a diet. Chocolate is a great source of calories, and a hot drink will keep you warm as you explore the local area. Be full and enjoy the journey!