It's quite a treat for people when they can get it; and it's eaten as a snack the way one would eat beef jerky. I've seen people auctioning off portions of it, or asking if anyone has any...it's a hot commodity for sure! I was lucky that I got to try some, and I saved some for Jeff as well.
Lovely Ami also took pictures of the process and I shamelessly stole them to show you here. If you're not good at handling pictures of raw meat, you may want to not click through.
From what I understand, the process is sort of set up in an assembly line. The caribou is cleaned and butchered and then portions of it are given to Ami's granny (picture on the left) to slice as thinly as possible. Wire racks are set up so the slices are lain out to dry (picture on the right). It takes a few days to completely dry under the sun, at which point the meat is hardened and looks almost like tree bark.
Here, you can see what it looks like when it's ready for consumption. The white part is the fat, and that has a hardened texture but not as hard as you'd think. It's a little softer than the meat part.
My co-workers are hams when there's a camera around. Hams that are excited to eat nipku!
Oh, and if you're alarmed by my other co-worker putting on rubber gloves - we were getting ready to go outside to do a community clean-up. Nothing to do with the nipku taste test! ;)