Sense of Place: The Food and Cuisine of Alaska

Sense of Place: The Food and Cuisine of Alaska

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Emma Christensen
Oct 15, 2008
While the need for food that fuels is paramount in Alaskan cuisine, that doesn't necessarily mean a sacrifice in flavor! Cooks make use of what's available, often brightening a meat-centric dish with berries, tender greens, and warming spices. Take a look! Since the Gold Rush toward the end of the 1800's, Alaska has been less isolated and residents have been able to supplement their diet with dried beans, grains, cured meats, and canned foods. Barley proved to do well in the Alaskan climate and became a primary starch. Of all the regions of the United States, it's interesting to note that Alaska is probably the only one that did not include corn as traditional dietary staple. Also, before the Gold Rush and the introduction of the oven, most food were either eaten raw or it was smoked for preservation. These days, you'll find a lot of braised preparations and slow-simmered stews. Soups and Sides: Braised Radishes Chopped Alaskan Razor Clam Fritters from Group Recipes Creamed King Crab and Spinach Soup from Northwest Seafood Smoked Salmon Bisque from Simply Recipes Main Dishes: Spring Lemon Risotto with Asparagus and Fiddlehead Ferns Pan-fried Ptarmigan Breast and Red Currant Jelly from Big Oven Moose Stew from Recipezaar Cranberry Chicken from Epicurious Red Wine Braised Hare from Epicurious Salmon Kulebyaka Pie from the Food Network Sweets: Rhubarb Lavender Crumble Cloudberry Cream from Recipezaar Salmonberry Pie from the Food Network Baked Alaska from the Food Network (though whether this is from Alaska or a metaphor for Alaska is up for debate!) Extras: Basic Sourdough Starter Beginner Sourdough Loaf Sourdough Pancakes of Alaska from Cook's Recipes What other dishes do you have to add? Related: Best Campfire Food: What Do You Eat While Camping? (Images: Flickr members micmin, Chris Corrigan, and 5thLuna licensed under Creative Commons)
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