Dinner: 300-500 Raw Auk Birds Stuffed inside a Seal Carcass and Then Fermented for a Year

Don't come to the table late or you'll miss your chance! Kivaq is a Greelandic meat dish that you'll never forget. Start by emptying the body cavity of a seal. Stuff inside a few hundred raw auk birds, feathers and all. Sew it up and cover the seams with fat. Let it sit under rocks for three to eighteen months. Serves eight.

At the link, you can watch a video of people opening and eating a Kivaq after this long preparation process.

Link | Photo: Inga Sørensen

I don't have reference material to back this up, but I suspect that the key to the success of the Greenlandic technique lies in the climate.

If meat were left to rot in temperate or hot climates, it would be a breeding ground for bacteria and their toxins. In a cold climate, it may be possible that the meat autolyzes, breaking the tough muscle fibers and making the flesh easier to digest - especially in ancient times when flames and fire might not have been available to do the same thing.

I'll see what I can find out.
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I mean damn.... just no.. no.
Don't think it would be that bad for myself if they at least de-feathered the birds first. Watching the video of them peeling off the skin..... HARF.
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I wonder how someone came up with the idea in the first place. "Hey, let's stuff a bunch of birds inside a seal carcass, and then let it rot for a few months! I betcha it'll be goooood!"
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I would like to say that is pretty disgusting but then I would be falling into the trap that many of us do when viewing another cultures food through len of our definition of food.

I use to date a girl from Peru who's favorite dish was cooey (guinea pig) and would shop in the local pet store for meat like you and I do at the supermarket. I could never be around when she prepared it (made that mistake once and spent the next 30 mintues with my head in the toilet) but I did eat it from time to time.

My wife is from Asia and routinely eats things that I wouldn't feed to my dog but thinks cheese is the most disgusting thing she has ever seen. (clotted milk that is rotted with bacteria as she calls it).

On that note the dish about is pretty disgusting.... I could only imagine the smell when you crack open that seal after 18 months.
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