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Alaska Eats

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Yes, it’s true that come winter it’s slim pickings in the Alaskan wilderness if you’re not an experienced “survivalist”, but that’s not to say there isn’t a fine spread of fixings on offer in developed areas like Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks. Mostly, the traveler will find modern, multi-cultural foods on offer though it isn’t hard to sniff out some authentic Alaskan specialties, whether you’re in the market for fresh Copper River Salmon or fireweed jam.

Most of Alaska’s main population centers (with the exception of Fairbanks) are located close to saltwater, so it should come as no surprise to discover that seafood is one of the state’s culinary favorites. Look for king crab, snow crab, Alaskan halibut, wild salmon, Kodiak scallops and prawns to top many a menu, though red meat lovers can just as easily track down moose burgers, bear sausage, caribou hot dogs and other unusual food stuffs to sample. Any real Alaskan will recommend rounding out the meal with a beer or four at a pub like the Moose’s Tooth, within convenient walking distance of downtown Anchorage and the water, or Juneau’s Alaskan Brewing Company, easily the state’s best-known microbrewery.

In terms of traditional foods, think more along the lines of “Eskimo ice cream” or Akutaq, a mix of berries, sugar, seal oil, lard and various meats; this isn’t something you’ll find readily available at restaurants, but travelers to the remote towns in the western part of the state might get the opportunity to try this unusual desert. For berries short the meat mixture look for them growing wild in summer, or in syrups, jams, cobblers, ice cream and other delectably sweet dishes up for eating across the state.

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