Wild wild food
Posted 21 October 2009 - 03:03 PM
food growing and roaming in the great outdoors. I spoke to people who made their own bear salami.
venisin is common throughout the state, especially reindeer. It seems like all Alaskans go fishing and stock their refrigerators
to last all winter. In an Alaskan cookbook I bought bear, moose, reindeer, walrus and all types of fish were used in the recipes.
Every Alaskan we met were either hunters/fishermen or both. It seems to me the Alaskans eat more wild food than any other American and have even written conservation laws within their constitution to protect their resources.
Posted 22 September 2013 - 06:22 PM
While in Cordova, AK 7 years ago I also noticed this. Everyone had fish or a boa to go catch fish, elk jerky, bear stew, or venison steaks. If you wanted oysters go take your boat our real quick down the beach and pick some. People traded often as well. Salmon for venison. Duck breast for quail etc etc.Most things were locally sourced from within 50 miles because there is no road leading into Cordova. It was quite a haven for a young ambitious like myself cook learning decent morals about eating whats available around you.
Posted 02 October 2013 - 08:51 AM
I always love it when a thread pops up about Alaska. Doesn't happen very often for obvious reasons. Not so many residents there and what there are don't need advice as to what restaurants are good - they're more than familiar with every single place to eat in their region. Also, it's not like living in the Lower 48 where you have multiple destinations within easy driving distance. Nobody, for example, would say, "We just decided on a last-minute quicky trip to Fairbanks this weekend. Anybody got any great recs?" The folks that might drive into Fairbanks for a weekend could live in Tok, or Salcha, or Eagle, or Chicken. And they've been to every Fairbanks restaurant often enough to have the menus memorized.
Food, like everything else brought from "outside" (which is what Alaskans call every single spot on the globe that is not in Alaska) is always extremely expensive. And there are many places in Alaska where it's impossible to get unless you pack it in yourself. Plus, there is wildlife all around, and subsistence hunting and fishing is a traditional way of life. So yes, everybody in Alaska hunts and fishes. When the salmon run reaches the river on which your town is located, the cry goes out: "The Kings are in the Chena," and businesses, schools, offices let out so everyone can go dipnetting. There isn't really an autumn, or fall. There's "freeze-up." And by freeze-up, everybody wants their larders full with at least one moose, one caribou, and a wide assortment of fish. Freezers are bursting with halibut, salmon, crab, trout, rockfish, grayling, and pantries have jerky, jars of homemade preserves and jams, home-smoked and canned salmon and halibut. And yes, everybody does trade. Two packages of moose hamburger for a whole salmon. Reindeer sausage for smoked halibut. A few pints of frozen wild blueberries for some low-bush cranberry (lingonberry) liqueur.
Anyone considering a trip up there would be well-advised to do it.
And speaking of eating what you've sourced locally, here's the place to stay:
Posted 02 October 2013 - 10:20 AM
It's also a good idea to have a pilot's license and a small plane if you plan on doing any bear/moose/Caribou hunting. Hunting licenses for non-residents can be very expensive and game wardens are zealous about enforcing rules and regulations. Wanton waste violations (taking only the desirable parts of a kill) are punished with harsh and expensive fines and jail time.
The weather is a cruel mistress and it's best to stick with someone who is a local or longtime resident.
Posted 02 October 2013 - 11:05 AM
And although weather is indeed a cruel mistress, she's thoughtful enough to only show up after freeze-up. Summers in the interior can get quite warm.
As for planning any hunting/fishing expeditions, one would hope that you only plan on doing that with a licensed tour company.
Edited by Jaymes, 02 October 2013 - 11:12 AM.
Posted 02 October 2013 - 11:31 AM
Exactly. There is no need to decide to "rough it" and end up being bear bait. Tenderfeet (foots?) don't do well in the wild without a guide and an ability to follow instructions to the letter.
My step-daughters have lived in Alaska since they were small and their father was still active duty. They have small planes, as do most who need to travel any distance in a reasonable period of time. I have hundreds of pictures of the grandkids with salmon that are as large as themselves. It's a truly beautiful place.
Posted 02 October 2013 - 11:35 AM
Well, just to clarify, my post was primarily supposed to be informative, in the vein of the earlier posts about "wild wild food" and how Alaskans eat and live.
Not really as advice for cheechakos.
Edited by Jaymes, 02 October 2013 - 11:38 AM.
Posted 02 October 2013 - 11:39 AM
Surely it can be both. Share the wealth of your knowledge Jaymes!