Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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caribou Rangifer arcticus, a large member of the deer family, Cervidae, and a close relation of the reindeer. The caribou has importance as food for the indigenous inhabitants of Alaska, and other parts of the far north of the American continent, although its meat is thought to be not quite as good as that of the reindeer. However, the difference between the two animals is small and some authorities have been tempted to classify them as a single species.

The name itself is said to be derived from a Micmac Indian name meaning ‘snow-shoveller’.