If you live in Minneapolis, where the temperature has been dancing playfully on either side of zero for the past week or so, it helps to read about places colder than where you’re at. Kudos, therefore, to the Independent for churning out a massive slice-of-life story on Yakutsk, Russia, where temperatures around minus 50 degrees Celsius (minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit) are not out of the ordinary.

Yakutsk may be the coldest city on Earth, but that doesn’t stop the locals from enjoying a lively gastronomic culture:

[T]raditional Yakut food always made use of whatever it could. ‘At a wedding,’ wrote Lansdell in the 19th century, ‘the favourite dish served up by the bride to her future lord is a boiled horse’s head, with horse-flesh sausages.’ Day-to-day culinary life was even less appetising: ‘They make a sort of porridge or bread of the under bark of the spruce, fir and larch, which they cut in small pieces, mixing it with milk or dried fish.’

If you want to hear the deal with Yakutian sushi, you’ve got to read the story, which, for the record, makes this Minnesotan grateful to be sheltering in such a temperate oasis.

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