Sami food of the Lapland: Traditional cuisine (series)

Sami food of the Lapland

Sami food to a larger extent is based on what is available in nature at the time of year. Meals consistently comprise meat, fish, herbs, vegetables, and berries.

Hunting, trapping, and fishing is prominent in the Sami culture. Although similar, the Sami food may vary, somewhat, from household to household and region to region. Traditionally, the indigenous peoples of the Sápmi territory live in this the region that spans areas Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Kola Peninsula of Russia). The Sami are citizens of the countries within whose borders they live.

Sami food of the Lapland
Sámi food. Photo credit:

The Sami people (the most recognizable of this group are the Lapp nomads), as did many native peoples, lived completely off of the land. Traditionally, the Sami ate copious amount of fish, which they caught using handmade tools and specific techniques. Fish was consumed right after being caught or preserved using salt, smoked or dried to be consumed at a later day. In addition to fish, Sami food include a lot of reindeer meat. As well, the ancient preservation method was used to cured the deer meat. Other meat eaten by the Sami people included that of elk and bear. Notably, Sami meals include renkok (reindeer stew), sausages and black pudding— both of which are made of reindeer blood. Dried reindeer meat is treated as and eaten as a delicacy. To complement the protein dishes, potatoes, Lappish bread, and broths maybe included. Traditionally too, reindeer milk and cheese were consumed on a regular basis. Today, the Sami drink lots of coffee, which helps to provide some warmth to them in the arctic and subarctic environment, and the hot caffeine beverage may even stimulus mood of jollity.

The Sami people have always utilized every part of the reindeer for food or others, including the hooves, the skull, the marrowbone, the bones, the intestines, the internal organs, the skin, and the blood.

A few nontraditional dishes have entered the realm of Sami food culture but for the most part, the peoples have managed to retain many aspects of their traditional cooking methods as they have done for many generations.



Article by: Birki Esájas

| January 6, 2016