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Antarctic conservation blog archive

Culinary traditions in Antarctica

Jane, Monday 15 March 2010

Temperature: -25⁰C
Wind speed: 10 Knots
Temp with wind chill: -35⁰C

Wintering over in Antarctica is a challenge for everyone, with the lack of light and minimal contact with the outside world. The chef, in particular, has a very difficult job but manages to keep us all happy.

Bobbie, our chef, making sausage rolls © AHT / J Hamill

Bobbie, our chef, making sausage rolls © AHT / J Hamill

Our last delivery of fresh food was a few weeks ago and with no more until late August we are making the most of the fresh fruit and vegetables, before moving on to frozen veg. It is a challenge today for our chef, Bobbie, to keep the menu exciting with limited supplies, as it was for Clissold, the cook on Captain Scott’s Terra Nova expedition back in 1910-1913.

We tend to eat a lot here. We like to think that it’s because we use so much energy when out in the cold or because we work such long hours as part of our winter work programme, but really it’s because it all tastes so good.

Clissold making bread and sausage rolls, winter 1911, with Frys cocoa powder in the background © Scott Polar Research Institute

Clissold making bread and sausage rolls, winter 1911, with Frys cocoa powder in the background © Scott Polar Research Institute

Some things in Antarctic cooking haven’t changed since Clissold was cook. When Bobbie visited our conservation lab and saw the tins of food we are conserving, we discovered that, like Clissold, she too uses powdered egg. We were shocked and asked her not to tell us when she does.

Tins of powdered egg and Frys cocoa powder during conservation in our lab © AHT / N Dunn

Tins of powdered egg and Frys cocoa powder during conservation in our lab © AHT / N Dunn

Even the long-standing tradition of sausage rolls continues, only now our vegan chef makes amazing vegetarian ones just for me!

One Response to “Culinary traditions in Antarctica”

  1. Nick Mayo says:

    Food, Food, Glorious Food.

    Remember an army marches on it’s stomach. Powdered egg!!!! You guys are certainly living in historic cuisine style down there. I’m sure the egg you have been eating is more recent - only the Chef will know :)

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