What is mattak made from?


Quick Answer

Mattak consists of the inner layer of skin and outer layer of fat of a whale, seal or dolphin. Also called muktuk, it is a traditional Inuit food eaten in Greenland.

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Full Answer

Mattak is very chewy, according to Nordic Spotlight, and tastes rich, milky and nutty. It is often served in little cubes with a layer of skin across the top. Because of its rubbery texture, people usually chew on it for awhile until it becomes oily. They then swallow it whole. It is often served around Christmas.

Mattak typically comes from the bowhead whale, although it can be made from narwhal or buluga whales as well. It is typically eaten raw, though it can be frozen ahead of time. One recipe calls for it to be diced finely, breaded and deep fried. In this case, it's served with soy sauce.

Mattak can also be pickled. Pickled muktuk includes vinegar, cloves, pepper, sugar, allspice, bay leaves and pickling spice.

The skin contains up to 38 milligrams of vitamin C per 3.5 ounces, making it a good source of this vitamin. The blubber is rich in vitamin D. However, the blubber also contains PCBs, which are carcinogens damaging to the immune, nervous and reproductive systems. The PCBs become concentrated in the blubber.

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