Alaska’s Must Eats
Appetite for Alaska: The great state’s must-eat meals
Every journey around the Last Frontier is filled with Alaska flavor – figuratively and literally! Special sights, sounds and smells will overwhelm your senses in a dramatic way. And then there are the savory tastes you’ll only find up north. You aren’t likely to see Baked Alaska on menus around these parts – that’s a Lower 48 thing. But you will discover many unique Alaska fixings from land and sea that are fantastic and flavorful. At the hands of Alaska’s clever chefs and via the state’s creative kitchens, these unforgettable dishes will have you drooling at the memory months later. Here are a few Alaska menu items that you can’t miss during your Alaska trip.
Most Alaska visitors’ trips are packed with activities, so start your day the rustic Alaska way with fluffy-but-filling sourdough pancakes. These aren’t your usual flapjacks; the sourdough supplies an underlying distinct flavor. Add fresh Alaska blueberries and smother them in some Alaska-made syrup to delight your senses with the blast of sweet and sour. You may even strike gold; some classic kitchens still use sourdough starter brought to Alaska during the Gold Rush!
Halibut and salmon
Two more succulent selections from the sea (and for some salmon, the river), these are Alaskans’ favorite fish and they are often present on restaurant plates across the state. The filets from each salmon species feature somewhat different flavors and colors based on their body fats and ocean origins. The common trait: rich and delicious red, pink, and orange colored meat. Meanwhile, the halibut is a light, flaky white fish that is a perfect pallet for culinary creativity. One thing they both share: the countless ways they can be prepared and served, from ultimate simplicity or decadent complexity.
The seemingly delicate halibut finds perfect partners in beer batter and a deep fryer – ask to make sure the batter contains Alaska-made beer – though a filet with just a touch of lemon is equally satisfying. Salmon can also come served in an array of sauces and spices, but if you try a slice of fresh raw Alaska salmon at a sushi spot, you might not want it served to you any way ever again!
While Alaska’s most famous reindeer reside most days in North Pole near Fairbanks, distinct and delicious reindeer sausages can be found on plenty of breakfast plates and resting between soft hot dog buns. To be fair, per law these sausages contain only a percentage of actual reindeer meat, but they are still a fun and tasty treat that usually pack a slightly spicy zing. The majority of sausages are gourmet and made in Alaska. They are popular accompaniments with breakfast, whether grilled after being sliced down the middle or cut into discs. When summer arrives in Alaska, so do hot dog stands that allow locals and visitors alike to dine while basking in the sun. Any dog vendor worth their wurst serves a version of the reindeer sausage, along with grilled buns and onions.