UMAMI MART MATSURI FESTIVAL
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Did you know that Greenland is part of the Royal Danish Kingdom? Well, neither do most Danes actually (they're busy watching American TV shows instead). But it is, along with the Faroe Islands-- and we used to own Iceland too. Since 2009 Greenland has gained 99% self control although Denmark is still supporting the island financially in a lot of aspects.

Thinking about Greenland you don't exactly explode with an abundance of culinary exquisities or worldwide cultural import successes. It's a weird, white, cold rock and it's too far for anyone to care, really. Only 57,00 people live there, mostly Inuits and some Danes. There are no roads, you have to either drive a snow scooter, sail a ship or fly a plane to get around.

As of yet, I've never visited the country. Flying up there and back is more expensive than a return ticket to Tokyo or Bangkok. A few years ago I designed a shirt collection for a Danish fashion house, and I was really inspired by the traditional national pearl embroideries and cultural aesthetics.

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The collection sold like crap however. Again: Danish people feel no attatchment to the culture, and no need to idenitfy themselves with it. A shame actually.

So, what do they eat up there? Well, what do you eat when it's cold out? Lots of meat, soups, stews, heavy stuff that makes you full and warm. The food prices are crazy though as everything has to be imported by plane or ship to the island. But they do also export stuff,  and today I went to the DayCatch, a new Greenland-themed store located in the harbour district of Copenhagen. It's next to the historical Greenlandic Trading Square, where it was a busy center for trade to and from the Faroe Islands, Finmark, Iceland, and in particular, Greenland, over 200 years ago.

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Pretty low-key entrance in an old trade house.

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Inside, it's pretty dark and cozy with lowered wooden ceiling. The whole room is filled with imports-- meat, liquor, gifts, arts & crafts and more.

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The long freezers are filled with a wide assortment of meats. Muskox beef, reindeer paté, huge shrimps, long scary deep sea crab claws, catfish, trout, cod, redfish, uvaq (a type of Greenland cod) snow crab, halibut and other arctic beings.

Muskox steaks.

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Long crab claws and hellefisk.

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Muskox forcemeat ($32/ kg).

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Siku Vodka-- brewed with Greenlandish water, by traditional Greenlandish methods ($294 per bottle).

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Oh look, it's backlit by a cool bottle stand. There must be gays in Greenland after all.

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If you need some wall decor why not get reindeer antlers to hang your coat on?

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Skibskiks (ship biscuits) with lots of nothing in them. To the right a bunch of freezing bags if you get a lot of frozen stuff-- practical!

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You clearly sense this is a man's store. I can't really imagine a single female New Yorker doing her decaf latte and shoe shopping in here. You can also join the "Proviant Club" and get good offers on weird meats in your inbox.

You can buy strangely shaped tupilaq thingies. Did any of the Sex & The City-girls ever date any Inuit men? If not, this may be what they have to rely on if they want some Greenlandish manhood playtime.

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In the souvenir department there are also Greenland flag mugs.

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Plain Greenland national flags. We love our flags in Denmark and Greenland and use them for any occasion-- birthdays, celebrations etc.

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And of course the national animal: the ice bear. Cute.

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Polar ice cream, a super old school Danish ice cream company.

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In the corner there's a fridge with beer. I usually avoid such cabinets like the plague, but I needed something affordable to buy as the shopkeeper had been eyeballing us for the last 15 minutes while we were snapping pictures and looking at the tupilaq manhood replacements.

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I buy a Faroe Island produced Black Sheep dark lager. Invokes evil sheep power from Arctic Hell.

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And a Grønland Ice Cap Beer-- "Brewed with the purest water in the world from the Greenland Ice Cap". Yum!

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Besides these beers, I bought the COOLEST ice cubes in the world.

Behold: 2000-60,000 years old ice cubes, cut from the Greenland inland ice. These rocks are older than Jesus!

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Ancient ice cube porn!

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When you drop the rock into the drink, a loud fuzzy noise erupts-- all the prehistoric air caught inside the ice brick is now escaping in skull cracking bursts! Serving any drink with this icy awesomeness makes it so much better, and it's always a great conversation starter-- age, life, death, eskimo Jesus. It's all in there.

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Hm, tastes like water. With a hint of polar bear pee.
Column: Skankynavia
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9 comments

  • Interesting.

    Can you still buy those t-shirts anywhere? I want that first one!!

    Genevieve on

  • I also think your t-shirts are pretty nifty. So how was the beer? And how much did the prehistoric ice cost?

    Craig on

  • This was a really entertaining post. Interesting in a good way. And I want one of those ice bears. So cute.

    yoko on

  • i want one of those tulipaq thingies. for decoration, i swear.

    Kayoko on

  • Genevieve: Thank you for reading! I’m sorry but the shirts sold out 4 years ago… mostly on sale, unfortunately. But I’m glad you like the designs.

    Yoko: Careful what you wish for…

    Craig: Thank you. I have yet to test the beer, will report back on that. The ice was super cheap, like $4 for the box. Maybe you can get it in the US as well? Greenland is almost closer to you than to Denmark…

    Anders on

  • Totally inappropriate! I should know by now not to feed the fire with you two. Never learn.

    Kayoko on

  • We need to make a dildo shaped foods post.

    Anders on

  • Oh Kayoko and penis shaped items.

    Yamahomo on

  • i know this is off topic but i have an african american gay friend who is thinking about taking a job in greenland on the military bases. just wondering how comfortable he would be in greenland both as gay and black thanks

    shirley on

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