Our day started early with a visit to Cávzo Safari. From there we took a two-hour bus ride to the Sami capital, Karasjok where we visited Sapmi Park and The Sami Museum. For dinner we stopped at Scandic Karasjok. After a long educational day our stomachs were more than ready for some good food.
For our dinner we had reindeer stew (finnbiff in Norwegian) and cloudberry fromage. Earlier that day we were taught the importance of reindeer in the life of Sami. When it comes to food, almost every piece of reindeer is used. From well-known cuts like fillet to more foreign parts tongue and heart – nothing is left out. Reindeer stew was served with mashed potatoes, broccoli, carrots and lingonberries. Finnbiff is made out of finely sliced pieces of reindeer meat, usually steak. Since all of us had tried reindeer meat before it came as no surprise that the meat melts in your mouth and is very delicious. It was a hearty and enjoyable dish.
Cloudberry fromage, on the other hand, was something less known to us. The fromage was accompanied by vanilla sauce and cloudberries. It was, yet again, melting in mouth, light and airy deliciousness. It was like ice cream – you just cannot get enough of it! Both reindeer meat and cloudberries are widely known to Sami people and Norwegians in general. While as for us, group of people from countries all over the world, it can be more of a delicacy.
When I go to the store here in Alta I can be rather sure that I am able to find a piece of reindeer meat. But when I think back to my home country Estonia, I cannot recall if I have ever seen reindeer meat on a menu in a restaurant, let alone sold in a supermarket. Cloudberries, however, are not that new to me. Back at home the berry is just as mysterious as it is here in Norway. They are sold on farmer’s markets with the price of gold or you can go out and pick them on your own. The thing with cloudberries is that they are not as easily found as blueberries for example. Cloudberries need lots of sunlight and peat moss bogs to grow. If you have a friend who has a friend who knows a good cloudberry place, you can be fairly certain that you will never get that information. But there is nothing better than spending some quality time in nature and maybe find a bog full of cloudberries yourself!
It was a lovely evening spent with our three lecturers and all of the first year students of Arctic Adventure Tourism. I am incredibly pleased that we got to enjoy a meal made out of traditional ingredients rather than something you do not understand on your plate or in your mouth.