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Thread: caribou hooves

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    Member Nukalpiaq's Avatar
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    Default caribou hooves

    Years ago when I was a teenager, after my very first caribou hunt. My mother decided to cut the hooves of the caribou off and boil them. She told us that people used to eat them back in the day when her parents and grandparents were herding reindeer. My younger sister was the only kid to try them. She told the rest of us that they were good eating. My grandparents and mother finished the rest. Anyone ever try eating caribou or moose hooves before? What do you think of them? Thanks

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    That really sounds disgusting. I grew up eating pickled pigs feet, now that's a real delicacy.

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    Member wldboar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingfisherktn View Post
    That really sounds disgusting. I grew up eating pickled pigs feet, now that's a real delicacy.
    Gross, kingfisherktn....Are you my long lost uncle? My dad ate those all the time

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Sorry: I won't claim you, have too many dependents now.

    I think we always had a jar or two in the cupboards. Once it was opened they disappeared very fast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingfisherktn View Post
    That really sounds disgusting. I grew up eating pickled pigs feet, now that's a real delicacy.
    yeah i can remember that too... and mom used the feet of the chickens we butchered to make soup to...
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    Heard that the hardened part (caribou toenails) would be strung together after the meal of caribou toes and when you shake them they sounded like caribou walking or running. Native caribou hunters long ago used them to get the caribou's attention and the animals would come closer. They were also used in traditional dances as an instrument and in ceremonies by the Shamans.
    Wonder if Andy Zimmern on Bizarre Foods would eat a jar of pickled caribou feet.

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    I think pickled meats are a German thing. My family eat several different pickled meats including pigs feet which are dang tasty. Never had caribou toes but I don't see why it wouldn't make at least good soup stock. As too the elders liking it....well I was honored to be invited to more than one "traditional meal" and I gotta say, great experience but I'm never eating raw seal again and "cold clams" are just gross. IE the natives of Alaska have historically eaten lots of things most of us could never stomach.

    PS no I did not eat the eyes Grandma got those.
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    I think pickled meats are a German thing.
    I think your right....my dad would take a huge pickle jar after deer season and pickle the tongues, hearts, boiled eggs and red beets all together and it sounds gross but was really good....we are German.
    "Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Mine too.
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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick P View Post
    Mine too.:
    I am too mein gelehrter Freund!

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick P View Post
    I think pickled meats are a German thing. My family eat several different pickled meats including pigs feet which are dang tasty. Never had caribou toes but I don't see why it wouldn't make at least good soup stock. As too the elders liking it....well I was honored to be invited to more than one "traditional meal" and I gotta say, great experience but I'm never eating raw seal again and "cold clams" are just gross. IE the natives of Alaska have historically eaten lots of things most of us could never stomach.

    PS no I did not eat the eyes Grandma got those.
    I can say that i did try ALL but one item in the villages.. to this day when invited to dinner.. i can not attend when stink head is on the table...
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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Been thinking about this, I think I may have judged my dive into native culinary treats to harshly. Just read and think before you type back. My family eats pickled meats gross to many. My friend Marco and his family love bulls balls soup, yep they are what they say they are! And as gross as I find "cold clams" hot dogs contain what exactly!?!

    Even in the grocery store there's lots you don't want to know about. Kelp is in dang near everything we eat, especially low cal stuff. Tooth paste is made from the same stuff as Sheetrock and we eat boiled down hooves on a regular basis.(pectin comes from the hooves of slaughtered animals and is the base for jello and used as a additive to make foods creamier.) Anyone who has cooked at a restaurant who still uses cosmetics is crazy( ever wonder what happens to the grease in the grease trap can you say lanolin?) Heck even soap starts life as left over lard.

    Long and short of it is food preferences are cultural and everyone has a favorite someone else wouldn't feed to the dog.

    PS I make a mean roulatan (sp?) if anyone's interested.
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    Default Cultural foods

    Well spoken Rick P, yes there are a lot of bizarre culinary delicacies found all around this world of ours. Some of the most unusual I have come across here in Native Alaska are stinkhead (which I don't eat either), fermented walrus and seal flipper (I tried the boiled walrus flipper, and suprisingly once you get past the smell and looks of it, it doesn't taste bad at all, I even had seconds. Never had animal eyes of any kind, boiled king salmon eyes are really good. Half dried then boiled tundra squirrel (locals say it is a real treat). Walrus blubber is my favorite. Slightly fermented frozen whitefish (good stuff). As for raw meat I tried moose and caribou, locals usually freeze it first before eating. Another delicacy is the fat that surrounds the moose and caribou stomach, it is taken off stretched out, dried and eaten while drinking tea. Another treat is moose or caribou tripe, locals like to cut it up into small pieces and eat it with seal oil. Probably there are a bunch of other cultural foods out there in different parts of the State.

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Cold clams are partially digested clams from a walrus stomach.....ect. Actually I like the frozen whale blubber and berrie mix. (sorry don't like the word Eskimo and I know it's commonly called Eskimo ice cream)
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    I have heard of native people out here eating the clams from a walrus's stomach. I have never tried them, don't think I want to either.
    Now here is something unusual, a friend of mine used to make a dish with fresh salmon milt, he would dip it into a tempura batter and deep fry it until golden brown, then serve it to his clients as they were getting off the boat coming into his sportfish camp for the first time. Everyone always complimented him on his hors d'oeuvres.

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    Member 8x57 Mauser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick P View Post
    ...pectin comes from the hooves of slaughtered animals and is the base for jello ...
    Actually, pectin is plant-sourced. Wikipedia says it's "a structural heteropolysaccharide contained in the primary cell walls of terrestrial plants."

    Jell-o is gelatin, which comes from hooves and hides.

    My ancestors renders chicken fat and crisps little bits of skin in it. People have asked, "you eat the skin?"

    We get a little irrational about food sometimes. The old family joke is about a woman who's seated in the fancy restaurant and asks the maitre'd for a recommendation. When he suggests starting with the cold tongue, she says, "Disgusting! I could never eat something that comes from an animal's mouth."

    "Of course," The maitre'd says. "In that case, may I recommend the eggs?"


    That said, I can't say I've tried everything anyone's ever put in front of me. But boiled smoked King salmon heads dipped in seal oil rank among the best meals I've ever had.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    met an Asian family in Valdez staying at a B&B... they had just come in from the halibut charter.. though we had tough time conversing... the smile on my face over dinner was self explanitory...

    deep fried halibut head.. you can eat the ENTIRE head. cooked in hot oil, until the cartilage is soft... the gentleman's comment was YOU Americans waist more then you eat....
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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    You are correct Mauser My bad.

    There are also several Milt soup recipes out there too Nukalpiaq
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    You can add moose nose to the list. Kidneys also. My grandma loved it. Ever try eating the contents of caribou stomach? Cousins loved it in akutaq when they were out hunting. My wife grandma loved moose hoofs.

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    pass on the 'bou guts,... but i am thinking i will deep fry my next halibut heads...(unless i need crab bait)
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