Reindeer husbandry has always been very important to the culture of the Sámi, the Indigenous people of the Sápmi territory that stretches across northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. After slaughter, Sámi households would traditionally use all parts of the animal for nutrition, clothing and other purposes.
Blodpalt is a recipe that makes use of the reindeer blood, and has been prepared in Sámi kitchens for hundreds of years, normally throughout the long dark winter. Swedish Sámi food ambassador and chef Greta Hoover cooked this dish with Australian Aboriginal elder Aunty Beryl during Indigenous Terra Madre, held in Jokkmokk, Sweden last month and hosted by Slow Food Sápmi.
In a classic Terra Madre moment of sharing and cross-cultural exchange, the pair chatted like old friends about the similarities and differences between reindeer meat and Australian kangaroo meat, sharing tips, recipes, and conversation. The exchange was filmed for Sámi Swedish television. Greta learnt this classic Sámi recipe from her father when she was a child. The dumplings are normally served in a soup with reindeer meat.
2 liters/8 cups reindeer meat broth
500ml/2 cups reindeer blood (frozen and defrosted)
Salt to taste
250 g/2 cups white or rye flour
Put the cold blood in a bowl and add a pinch of salt. Mix in the flour, stirring until the mixture is thickened and smooth. Heat the broth until it comes to the boil. Drop half-spoonfuls of the mixture into the boiling broth. The dumplings will sink to the bottom then rise to the surface. Let them boil for 5 more minutes on the surface before removing with a slotted spoon.
Click here to see the clip on Swedish Sami television (in Sami language)