Traditional Alaska Native Foods

Although salmon is a fish native to the cold waters of Alaska, it is the most widely consumed of all the salmon species. Many Americans, who are used to eating a variety of “western” or “Asian” cuisines, do not even realize that Alaska has some great, traditional foods. The taste of seafood, fresh from the Alaskan rivers and streams, is one of the best in the world. This is why the United States Department of Agriculture classifies Alaskan salmon as the United States’ third most popular seafood species.

If you are planning a summer vacation in Alaska, the best meals are likely to involve one of the more numerous types of fresh Alaskan salmon strips, served either as a starter or a main dish. Some summer rolls and potato pancakes make excellent side dishes. They can also be accompanied by steamed or baked potatoes, rolls, sweet potatoes or fresh vegetables. You can serve the salmon strips with any combination of these foods. If you want to use them as a basis for planning your own original summer menu, you can combine them with baked cod, baked sweet potatoes, peas and carrots, crab cakes or sweet potato pie.

Although many people who vacation to Alaska rarely venture far from the frozen wastes of their hotel rooms, some travelers choose to eat at a smoky barbeque joint in downtown Anchorage. While they may enjoy the traditional Alaska native foods of the area, they also like a good dose of western flavor, especially if they have made the trip with the kids. Hot dogs, hamburgers and steaks make excellent sides at these joints. When they come home, there is often enough food to go around for several days so it will not be difficult to fit a variety of exciting adventures into the same trip. In addition to barbeques, however, travelers can try one of the many restaurants in Anchorage.

The restaurants of Anchorage are filled with the best of the Alaska native food that has been tantalizing taste buds for centuries. Salmon is the most popular seafood delicacy served in Anchorage, although halibut, crab and scallops can also be found at reasonable prices. One of the best ways to enjoy fresh fish is to take your boat on the Inside Passage and experience fresh Alaskan salmon. Most visitors to Anchorage eat fish that has been caught outside the town. However, those who venture further into the Pass realize that fresh Alaskan salmon is available almost everywhere and is prepared in the same way.

Smoked salmon is one of the more unusual flavors found in Alaska’s native foods. It is the unique quality of the flavor that has helped it gain a devoted following in restaurants throughout the United States and beyond. Many of the people who enjoy Alaska native foods also enjoy smoked salmon, but because of its distinctive flavor they often prefer to purchase it from a local shop. You will find smoked salmon that is usually prepared by smoking the fresh salmon with spices to make it more fragrant. This preparation process produces a delicious, salty flavor that some find unappealing.

Many Alaska natives prefer the style of cooking that uses wild game as the main ingredient instead of the farmed salmon. Some of the dishes prepared using wild game include musselmeat, Carolina, and seal meat. When it comes to wild game you are allowed to use any meat that was gathered from the Alaskan soil. You are also not allowed to use the flesh from the animals such as deer, moose, or salmon. In order to ensure that Alaska’s rich and diverse natural resources are not depleted, all non-game fish must be processed and harvested according to state rules.

Alaska’s rich waters supply many types of wild fish and shellfish such as black oil scallops, halibut, amberjack, and anchovies. However, because the state limits the numbers of some fish that can be harvested each year, Alaska’s native foods such as akutaq, king mackerel, crayfish, and redfish cannot be harvested as often as their wild counterparts. The Alaska Department of Revenue sets the fishing regulations for fish and shellfish harvesting. They also set aside a portion of the revenue each year for the upkeep of Alaska’s natural resources.

The two most popular dishes served in Alaska are salmon and halibut. Many of the establishments prepare their foods by the main means of wild-caught products. Many of the dishes that are prepared using Alaska shrimp and other seafood are considered some of the best in the world. A good way to make sure that you are eating only the healthiest and most sustainable seafood available is to make your reservations at a hotel that has an on-site seafood chef.