What’s in a culture? You have the people, the history, the landscape, but what’s equally as telling about a culture is its food. It touches on all of these areas, which makes food so symbolic. Certain dishes are a result of native and foreign influence. Food literally tells a place’s origin story, and you can see how things evolve over time. Food is also a direct product of the area it’s in — like having an abundance of fresh seafood options if you live by the water.
When they say food brings people together, they mean it. When they say food feeds the body and nourishes the soul, they mean it. It’s a powerful thing. When you’re traveling to a new destination, do yourself a favor and connect with its natives. They will point you to the local food joints that are serving the area’s must-try dishes.
People come from all over the world to try our delicacies. Below is a list of some of Alaska’s most iconic and unique dishes that both locals and tourists can’t get enough of.
Every place has its own version of street food; for alaska, that’s reindeer dogs. During the summer, carts selling these reindeer dogs line the streets and almost every street corner. People have the option of making their order spicy or not, but all carts offer a variety of garnishes. If you’re ever in Carcross, the Authentic Sourdough Bakery sells reindeer dogs wrapped in their delicious homemade bread!
Eskimo Ice Cream
Got a sweet tooth? Try some eskimo ice cream (also known as ‘Aqutak’ or ‘Agutuk’). The main ingredients of this dish are wild Alaskan berries and snow, and to get the consistency of ice cream, everything is whipped up with seal oil and animal fat (typically reindeer, but it can be the fat from any animal).
Most of Alaska is surrounded by water, so of course fresh seafood dishes are everywhere. Alaskan natives eat a lot of fish (salmon, halibut, black cod, etc.) and oysters, but crab is one of the most popular and sought-after delicacies. There are several species of crab, but nothing screams Alaska more than its fresh king crab legs.
This dish is for the foodies who love to try outside-of-the-box options. Muktuk is a combination of whale blubber and skin that’s frozen together and eaten raw. This dish is particularly popular with Eskimos and Chuchis. It’s beautiful, but it might not be for everyone — although I would recommend that everyone try just a little to get the full experience!
These are just a few of Alaska’s delicacies, but if you’d like to learn more, do some research into the region’s unique and iconic food. The images and descriptions will make your mouth water, but it will also teach you all about Alaska’s rich history.