Little known fact: Inuit relied on POTATOES!!! when food was scarce. There is a plant, known as Eskimo Potato, that grows well into the arctic and was dug, stored, and eaten all winter.
Eskimo potato - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
From: Bear Root And Indian Potato–Traditional Medicine or Food Use « Raven’s Ruff Stuff And Other Things Native
Food Use: Like garden parsnips, the roots of Indian potato are sweetened by frost. The plump fall or spring roots can be washed and eaten raw like carrots, grated into coleslaw, sliced and stir-fried, steamed as a dinner vegetable, simmered in stews, or added to boiled dinners. Try tatercakes when camping, serve them as a breakfast pancake, or as a supper potato substitute.
Dena’ina Athabascans feed the softened roots to infants who lack mother’s milk. The food is an important staple, which is stored in quantity in underground food caches. The Dena’ina refer to H. alpinum as k’tl’ila meaning “rope,” an apt description of the root that grows to two feet long. H. mackenzii is ggagga k’tl’ina, which translates as “good food for bears.”
Interior Athabascans gather Indian potato in fall and store the roots, mixed wish fish oil and Rubus chamaemorus berries in cellars for winter use. Flora Kokrine, an Athabascan born in Tanana, Alaska, favors roots fried in oil. Elder Howard Luke of Nenana says he adds the roots to moose soup.
Kobuk River Eskimos crush H. alpinum root, called ‘masru’ and use as butter. Roots are often taken from mouse holes and replaced with fish or other food. According to Inupiat teachings, masru should always be eaten with oil. Eating the root plain can cause constipation.