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In the Kitchen at the Arctic Restaurant

Wild Berries on the Table of the Arctic Restaurant.

Bearberry
Image Source, Wikipedia

Bearberry or Kinnikinnick

(Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)

Bearberry is adapted to the arctic and sub-arctic climates and is a favorite food for bears hence the name bearberry. For human consumption, the dried berries can be ground up and added to oatmeal porridge which was one of the required supplies for miners entering Canada during the Gold Rush. We don't think Frederick Trump sold bearberries in the Restaurant as they have a mealy taste and thick skin. He was known for the best in food products. Though the leaves are a traditional smoking mixture for First nations so we wouldn't be surprised if he carried them in his news, fruit and cigar shop, the Arctic Restaurant Newsstand. Bearberry is considered a traditional folk medicine but no clinical trials have been completed to validate its use to treat diseases or discomforts. Bearberry grows in poor soil conditions with good drainage or dry woods in the alpine regions of the Yukon. The leaves can be picked anytime during the summer. Remember, where there are bearberries there could be bears. Bearberry is a low-lying shrub with waxy leaves with small red, purple, or black berries.

Caution: Not to be consumed by pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding or young children. Large doses may cause nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, back pain, and tinnitus. Prolonged use may cause stomach and liver problems.

Blackcurrant

(Ribes hudsonianum, Ribes lacustre)

Blackcurrants are small shrubs that grow in moist fertile soils (not waterlogged) and should be picked when they are dry and ripe. The Arctic Restaurant probably carried black currants as their high levels of pectin would make them perfect for making jams while the seeds themselves are very high in nutrients. We would mix them with other berries as the raw berries are tart by themselves. We find it most likely that Frederick Trump would make desserts like the German specialty Rodgrod with a healthy supply of blackcurrants in the Whitehorse area. He would capitalize on its use in savoury cooking for sauces and his roasted and grilled meats. Black currants have been known to be used with seafood and we know he had oysters of every imaginable style. We can imagine him serving up seafood with blackcurrants, delicious. He was known as the best in the business. Blackcurrants can also be used to make wines. A valuable trade item for wild produce and meats.

Black Currant berry.
Image Source, Wikipedia

Black Huckleberry
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Black Huckleberry

(Vaccinium membranaceum)

Black huckleberry is rich in Vitamin C and sweeter than Red Huckleberry. Native to western North America it grows mostly in forests in the mountains and subalpine areas with spruce and pine forests. It would be a great fruit for the long winter as it can be frozen, made into cakes and dried for year-round use. Native Americans used it widely and it would surely be an item of trade sought after by the Arctic Restaurant.

Blueberry or Bilberry

(Vaccinium myrtilloides, Vaccinium caespitosum, Vaccinium uliginosum, Vaccinium ovalifolium)

Sweet when mature and easy to dry for long storage the Arctic Restaurant would have been well stocked with blueberries as even today it is one of the main products offered for sale by northern tribes. It is currently Canada's largest fruit crop. Blueberry jellies can be made by boiling the berries and letting them cool. They are also good for making alcohol products that Frederick Trump would be well versed in given his upbringing in the wine making district of Germany. Dried blueberries are an essential trail mix even today for northern peoples. It is the observation of the Arctic Restaurant that they grow everywhere especially in forests and open areas with good moisture.

Blueberry
Image Source, Wikipedia

Bunchberry
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Bunchberry

(Cornus Canadensis)

It has a mild apple-like taste with a hard, crunchy seed. Bunchberry though edible would not likely be stocked in the Arctic Restaurant as it can cause stomach cramps from eating unripe drupes. The Arctic Restaurant was equipped to serve up to three thousand meals a day and searching every drupe could be too time consuming to make it practical.

Cloudberry

(Rubus Chamaemorus)

These salmon colored ripened berries though sour are high in Vitamin C and benzonic acid which would make them a good additive for preserving other fruits and stored food products. There is a science to survival and Frederick Trump did know how to prepare his food and keep his supplies available to his consumers. He did operate a fruit stand at the Arctic Restaurant in January.

Cloudberry
Image Source, Wikipedia

Cranberry
Image Source, Wikipedia

Cranberry

(Vaccinium oxycoccus, Vaccinium vitis-idaea)

Initially tart with the raw berry, cranberry flavor improves when cooked or frozen. The sub-arctic region where Frederick Trump was in Whitehorse had plenty of deep freeze. The berries also remain on the shrub all year so he could always have a steady supply even during the winter months. They grow throughout northern Europe, northern Asia and northern North America in bogs and moist peat. Also, including wet forested areas with high water tables. This helps it resist forest fires and it quickly reclaims burnt areas.

Crowberry

(Empetrum Nigrum)

To improve the bland taste of Crowberry, try cooking or freezing them. They are cultivated mostly for their ornamental value as the fruits are mostly water. The low vitamin content and lack of substantive volatile liquids makes them almost odorless. Although they are edible we still doubt that the original Arctic Restaurant bothered to trade with the local hunter/gatherers for this berry. Frederick Trump would have probably left them to the crows and the other restaurants in town. On the east coast the leaves and stems can be used to smoke fish and other meats but this use of the plant wasn't noted on the west coast.

Crowberry
Image Source, Wikipedia

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