If you have a sensitive stomach, you might not want to ever try kiviak, a bizarre traditional dish made of fermented sea birds. kiviak is native to northern Greenland, where it's considered a delicacy. Read on for 10 weird facts about kiviak.
- Kiviak is prepared by fermenting 300 to 500 auk birds into a bag made of seal skin and covered in seal fat.
- The auk-filled seal skin is left to ferment between 3 and 18 months.
- The seal's fat acts as a tenderizer and preservative, enabling people to eat the birds raw, including their bones.
- Many eat kiviak by biting off the bird's head and then sucking out the juices inside.
- Kiviak is exceptionally pungent and reportedly tastes like matured cheese.
- Kiviak is considered a special treat to celebrate weddings, birthdays, Christmas and other special occasions.
- Greenland Inuits ate kiviak; the delicacy has also been linked to Alaska and Canada.
- Kiviak is usually eaten outside to prevent smelling up the home for weeks.
- Kiviak used to help Greenlanders combat vitamin deficiencies as they transitioned from primarily eating raw meat to eating cooked meat.
- The unusual preservation method used to make kiviak helped Greenlanders survive harsh winters and food shortages.
Editor's note: Stinky Foods is a new weekly series that focuses on unusually pungent foods from around the world. Tune in next week for a new smelly delicacy.